Tesla and Panasonic to launch Tesla-Panasonic solar power system
Tesla Motors Inc. and Panasonic Corp. have teamed up to develop a solar power technology that would help power the world’s biggest electric carmaker, with the goal of powering nearly 40 percent of the world.
The SolarCity-owned company announced the announcement Monday, a day after Tesla’s SolarCity solar panels were installed on the roof of its Fremont, California, factory.
The solar panel, which can produce enough power to power the company’s 2.7 million vehicles, will be mounted on top of Tesla’s Model S and Model X vehicles.
SolarCity says the panels can produce as much as 1.5 kW per square meter and could provide electricity for up to 5,000 homes.
Tesla, which also offers its own battery pack for the Model S, said it has installed solar panels in all of its factories and that solar energy production has doubled in the last three years.
Solar City’s panels will power up to 1.6 million vehicles.
Panasonic, which has been making solar panels for the automotive industry for more than two decades, said that in the past decade it has made solar energy equipment in more than 100 countries.
“The partnership with Tesla and the rest of the solar energy industry is one of the most significant advances in this industry in decades, and we look forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks and months,” Panasonic said in a statement.
Tesla’s SolarPower Corp. said it will supply the solar panels that will power its vehicles and will be the first company in the solar industry to offer solar power.
Tesla said SolarPower will provide the technology and manufacturing expertise for its manufacturing facilities.
SolarCity has said that it plans to develop solar energy for cars in the U.S. in the next few years, and Tesla said it expects that to be part of its future plans.
Tesla has been struggling with a lack of new solar installations in the United States, which is one reason why the solar market is projected to be worth about $9.5 billion this year, down from a peak of $24.3 billion in the third quarter of 2016.
SolarWorld, a division of SolarCity, said in February that it had installed more than 40 gigawatts of solar capacity in its solar factory in Reno, Nevada.