exclusive: tesla\'s solar factory is exporting most of its cells - document
The \"vast majority\" of solar cells being produced by Tesla\'s plant in northern New York are being sold overseas, rather than being used for the company\'s trademark \"solar roof\" as originally expected \", according to the documents reviewed by Reuters.
The export highlights the serious troubles Tesla has suffered in the United States. S.
In 2016, the electric car maker entered the solar business for its controversial $2.
Buy 6 billion of SolarCity
According to a Buffalo solar plant employee who declined to be named, Tesla only bought solar cells produced by its partner Panasonic.
According to a letter from Panasonic to the United States, the rest is mainly for foreign buyersS.
Customs officials were reviewed by Reuters.
When the two companies announced their cooperation in 2016, the two companies said they would cooperate in battery and module production, and Tesla will cooperate for a long time.
Long-term commitment to buy batteries from Panasonic.
The battery is a component that converts the light of the sun into electricity;
Together they make solar panels.
Tesla plans to use them on its solar roof, a system that looks like regular roof tiles.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has promoted the product as a cornerstone of the strategy behind the acquisition. selling a low-
Ecological carbon lifestyle
Conscious consumers can use the power of the solar roof to charge Tesla electric vehicles.
But after problems with production lines and the loss of Tesla\'s solar sales team, the company has so far installed them on only a few roofs across the country.
According to California data, three investors in the state have connected 21 Solar roof systems.
Utilities owned as of February. 28.
According to a former Tesla employee who was aware of the matter, in the northeast of the United States, only a few people were involved in the matter. earlier this year, he was fired during the layoffs and asked not to be named.
Tesla declined to comment on the company\'s purchase of batteries from Panasonic and would not provide data on solar roof installations.
But a company official said in an email, \"the number of solar roofs you cite in the story is low and not representative because we are currently actively installing solar roofs in eight states.
\"This situation raises new questions about the feasibility of cash --
Tesla\'s solar business is in trouble.
Musk once called the deal \"brainless \"--
But some investors see it as a bailout for an affiliate, and Tesla\'s shareholders pay for it.
Prior to the merger, Musk served as chairman of SolarCity\'s board of directors, and his cousin, Lyndon River, was the CEO of the company.
Panasonic spokesman Alberto Canal declined to comment on the company\'s sales to Tesla, but confirmed that Panasonic is seeking to use its Buffalo business to meet demand for the United States. S. -
Solar cells produced by foreign buyers.
In a document submitted to the United States, Panasonic saidS.
The Commerce Department said in October 2018 that foreign demand for the United StatesS. -
After the Trump administration imposed tariffs on overseas, solar cells rose rapidly
Made panel in 2018.
Panasonic also produces traditional solar panels for Tesla at its Buffalo plant, but due to low demand from California motor companies, Panasonic has sold many of them to other buyers since last year, reuters reported on August 2018.
Tesla announced last month that its overall solar sales fell 36% in the first quarter, increasing the previous sharp decline since SolarCity\'s acquisition.
According to the company\'s financial disclosure, the number of installations has dropped by more than 76% since Tesla purchased SolarCity in 2016.
After ending its solar sales team and its retail relationship with Home Depot, Tesla announced a plan last month to offer cuts
Price and requirements for standardized roof systems
Customers who order solar products online.
Panasonic\'s move to diversify its solar customers is the latest sign that the company is aligned with its long-term partners.
Panasonic is the only battery supplier for Tesla\'s electric vehicle business, but Musk last month accused Panasonic of delaying production of electric vehicles.
He also said Tesla is looking for more battery suppliers for its new Shanghai auto factory.
Panasonic letter to the United StatesS.
On last October, officials accompanied a request to produce batteries in the foreign trade zone within the Buffalo plant, which would allow Panasonic to import tariffs on certain parts --
Free as the finished battery will be sold overseas, not in the country.
The request was approved on April.
These areas help companies avoid, delay or reduce tariffs on imported partsS.
Manufacturers compete with overseas competitors.
\"It is entirely expected that most of the cells produced in the free trade zone will be exported,\" the company said in its application . \".
The Panasonic Canal says foreign solar panel manufacturers want batteries from the Buffalo plant because the solar panels assembled abroad are made in the United States.
Manufactured batteries can be shipped to US duty-
According to the United States, it\'s free. S.
Trade rules implemented last fall.
Panasonic Buffalo is one of the few Buffalo cities in the United States. S. -
Solar cell producers, because it is traditionally much cheaper to make components in other countries, have placed it in a unique position to meet foreign needs.
Canal will not disclose the company\'s non-
Customers of Tesla solar cells, or the percentage of their Buffalo battery output, shipped abroad, said the information was \"proprietary and competitive \".
A Panasonic source said most of the materials exported will go to large buyers in Asia.
Tesla, which inherited the factory called RiverBend by acquiring SolarCity, is now being asked to honor SolarCity\'s investment and employment commitments in exchange for $0. 75 billion in state subsidies.
The factory employs about 800 workers and by this time next year it will be required to hire 1,460 employees or pay a fine of several pounds.
New York State is still satisfied with the investment in the plant and Panasonic\'s diversified customer initiatives beyond Tesla.
\"We have two world-leading clean energy companies at the River Bay plant in Buffalo,\" Pam Lent, a spokeswoman for Imperial development, said in a statement.
\"Tesla produces innovative solar roof tiles, primarily for development and testing, with the goal of a full launch in the future.
Panasonic is now RiverBend\'s largest producer and employer with a customer base independent of Tesla.
\"Today, according to a current and former Panasonic employee, these companies operate separately at the Buffalo plant.
\"Everyone wants Tesla to succeed, but we are completely independent of them now,\" the employee said.