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Musk Extends Panasonic Ties

Tesla Motors and SolarCity founder Elon Musk has revealed plans to enlist Panasonic to help make solar-energy components. Production of photovoltaic cells and modules for solar-energy systems used by SolarCity will begin in 2017 at SolarCity’s factory in New York.

Musk has proposed integrating Tesla and SolarCity to allow consumers to buy an electric car and the solar-powered electricity to power it.

But his plan is being tightly scrutinised over corporate governance issues because the boards of both companies are deeply intertwined.

The Tesla-Panasonic deal is contingent on approval of Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity by the respective shareholders in votes on November 17.

The agreement builds on an existing relationship between Tesla and Panasonic, which are jointly building a $5 billion lithium-ion gigafactory in Nevada to produce batteries for the Model 3 electric car and energy storage products for home and utilities.

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