inside tesla\'s troubled new york solar factory
Production of solar roof tiles was delayed due to Assembly
Production line problems at the new public subsidy plant and difficulties in producing products that meet the aesthetic needs of CEO Elon Musk, eight former and current employees of the two companies told Reuters. Repeated hold-
Since the opening of factories in Buffalo and New York last year, ups has forced Tesla to Panasonic, a joint venture (6752. T)
According to a Panasonic employee, a Panasonic former employee and a Tesla former employee, in order to find other buyers to buy the components it makes for sale to Tesla.
The problems have also shaken the confidence of state officials in Tesla\'s commitment to delivering on its investment and employment commitments in exchange for $0. 75 billion in state subsidies.
The production challenge raises doubts about Tesla\'s cash.
The solar business is tight as it focuses on improving its better production
There have also been many delays in production of well-known electric vehicles.
Tesla acquired the solar business in 2016 for a controversial $2.
Buy 6 billion of SolarCity-
Sales and installation company created by two cousins of musk-
But business has been shrinking since then. (
For a chart of the decline in Tesla\'s solar business, see: tmsmrt. rs/2KjWlYU )
The \"solar roof\" produced by the New York factory was designed to look like a common roof when generating electricity, and this combination proved challenging.
Another former Tesla employee who works in Fremont, California, said: \"Aesthetic appearance is the key to Elon\'s always dissatisfied . \".
\"This is a big problem.
Musk said in a phone call with Tesla investors last week that \"hundreds\" of homes already have solar roofs, but the company clarified the estimate in a statement to Reuters, says it includes systems that have been partially installed or \"scheduled to be installed.
\"In California, the leading solar market in the United States, as of May 31, 12 Tesla roof systems were connected to the grid, all of which were in Northern California, according to the records of three investors in the state --Own utility
According to the records, the cost per watt of these systems is nearly $6.
This is about twice the national solar average.
Tesla began accepting a $1,000 deposit from customers for solar roofs in May 2017, seven months after its prototype was released.
Tesla confirmed in a statement to Reuters that it has been seeking to improve the production process of solar roofs at its New York plant.
\"We are steadily increasing solar roof production in Buffalo and continue to iterate through product design and production,\" the company said in a statement . \".
\"We plan to increase production by the end of 2018.
\"The company did not elaborate on the current production situation and did not comment on the purchase of components from partner Panasonic, which shared space in the factory, and plans to produce Tesla solar panels and photovoltaic cells for the roof.
Panasonic said in a statement that it had been selling some of its solar panels in Buffalo, rather than Tesla.
Panasonic employees and a former Tesla employee said the company has also been shipping a large number of photovoltaic cells it produces in Buffalo as samples to potential buyers due to low demand from Tesla.
Panasonic declined to comment on the delivery of battery samples to other customers, but said in a statement that it had not yet completed its sales to buyers other than Tesla and had not signed an alternative supply agreement.
\"We believe Tesla will use Panasonic batteries in mass production --
\"Solar roofs are being sold,\" the company said in a statement . \".
Some New York state lawmakers are worried that Tesla might not be able to meet the agreement.
The state provided $0. 35 billion to build factories and another $274.
Equipment is £ 7 million, $125.
According to a document submitted by Tesla to the Securities and Exchange Commission, 3 million \"additional scope costs \".
The subsidy program requires Tesla to hire 1,460 people in Buffalo two years after the facility is completed, including 500, and spend $5 billion in the state in 10 years.
Imperial national development is overseeing the agreement.
Pam Leder, a spokeswoman for the company, said the company believes Tesla is currently fulfilling its obligations, adding that the company will face a $41 penalty.
2 million a year, if it wavers.
New York State Republican lawmaker Ray Walter, who represents an area near the factory, said he was concerned that when he visited the factory during the parade, there was only a small percentage
\"After investing $0. 75 billion in taxpayer money, we hope it will succeed,\" he said . \".
\"It doesn\'t look like walking along this road.
Tesla said in a statement that the plant currently has about 600 employees and is expected to fulfill all its commitments.
Tesla does not have a company that can provide production data for solar roofs, just saying that production is low and often interrupted.
So far, only textured black solar roofs have been produced, they say, and this is one of four varieties that Tesla is marketing.
Several sources at the factory said Musk had never visited the factory;
Tesla declined to comment.
Panasonic recently produced about 1,900 regular 325-
The factory sells watt solar panels every day and intends to sell them under the Tesla brand, about 2,000 5. 5-
According to two sources from Panasonic, one of the watt photovoltaic cells intended for use on the solar roof was recently left the company.
This will bring the annual output of the Tesla plant to its target of about the first quarter. by 2019, the annual output of the plant will be 1 GW.
According to Panasonic employees, Tesla did not buy most of the batteries being produced.
\"We have been entertaining outside customers,\" the employee said . \".
One of Tesla\'s current employees and a former Tesla employee said Tesla was also turning to other vendors to deal with aesthetic issues, using JA Solar\'s batteries because they reflected light differently.
The current employee said similar Panasonic batteries are being tested and will be used in future versions of the solar roof.
JA Solar declined to comment.
Panasonic employees said that Panasonic began producing batteries at the factory in February, but recently shut down the manufacturing of new equipment installed on the production line.
The employee said full production will resume in September.
According to Panasonic employees and three other employees who know about the operation of the factory, wooden boxes filled with unused equipment are currently sitting around the factory.
Two workers say some of these devices have become obsolete in the past few years as technology changes.
One of the few customers who have delivered solar roofs is Tri Huynh, 39, who is engaged in business development in Silicon Valley.
Huynh said he paid about $100,000 for the system, which included three Tesla Powerwall home batteries to store the electricity produced.
The installation takes two weeks and a dozen workers compared to the day of most traditional panel systems.
\"I like it,\" he said . \" He added that he saved hundreds of dollars a month in electricity bills.
\"I\'m a technician, so I kind of want the latest technology.
\"Warren Jason, a retired tech entrepreneur, is building a 11,000-square-
The house at the foot of Hollywood is not so happy.
At the beginning of 2017, he booked a roof for $1,000, but it had not arrived and he was unable to provide details to the architects and engineers.
\"We have been asking Tesla for information,\" he said . \"
\"It\'s very frustrating.