Tesla, Panasonic Deal Strives for Sustainable Energy Future

Elon Musk’s plan to take over the world is well-documented. He wants to help humans colonize Mars, he wants to take on NASA in the rocket production game, and he wants to create cars that never need to stop at a gas station ever again. And while Mars is still a few decades away and SpaceX rockets keep blowing up, sustainable car technology has taken one more step towards reality with an agreement between Tesla and Panasonic to collaborate on the production of photovoltaic cells and modules for solar panels.

According to a blog post on the Tesla website Sunday night, this non-binding letter of intent will help move both companies towards the ultimate goal of a sustainable energy future. The agreement is solely contingent on shareholders’ approval of the partnership, a move that should be a no-brainer for the both companies involved. While the partnership is already well-cemented in the production of electric vehicles and grid storage battery cells, the collaboration should further develop the commitment for these forward thinking companies.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity,” said JB Straubel, chief technical officer and cofounder of Tesla in the post. “By working together on solar, we will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells and modules at the best cost.”

The agreement dictates that PV cells could be in production at Tesla’s Buffalo, New York factory as early as 2017. Tesla has specified that Panasonic will be privileged to a long-term purchase agreement, showing the commitment to getting sustainable cars on the road as fast as possible. Particularly with the high quality products Panasonic is used to putting out.

“Panasonic PV cells and modules boast industry-leading power generation performance, and achieve high quality and reliability,” said Shuuji Okayama, vice-president of the Eco Solutions Company of Panasonic. “We expect that the collaboration talks will lead to growth of the Tesla and Panasonic relationship.”

This is just one of many examples of Elon Musk and Tesla getting things done. The automotive revolution has been on a fast-track of innovation in recent years and this move could prove to be the next big step towards cars that don’t need fossil fuels to run. Between self-driving models and solar-powered technology, the Jetsons can eat their heart out.

Photo: Flickr / Dave Dugdale

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Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.
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