Tesla has revised an agreement that required it to buy all of the solar cells and modules Panasonic produced at their jointly operated factory in Buffalo, New York, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Under the new terms of the agreement, Panasonic can sell its output to other companies, though Tesla is still buying some of its cells and modules, according to the Journal. The agreement was reportedly changed early this year.
A Tesla representative told Business Insider that the company’s agreement with Panasonic has not changed.
“Our agreement with Panasonic for Gigafactory 2 remains unchanged and reports to the contrary are false. We continue to use cells and solar modules produced in Buffalo by Panasonic in Tesla’s retrofit solar panels as well as Solar Roof, as per our long-term goals for the factory and in line with our contract, which contains no requirement of exclusivity,” the representative said.
Panasonic did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
In recent quarters, the demand for Tesla’s energy products, which include solar panels, home batteries, and solar roof tiles, has outstripped the company’s ability to produce them, Tesla has said. Reuters reported in August that the company faced delays in its efforts to ramp up production of its solar roof tiles due to assembly-line issues at the Buffalo factory and the challenges involved in meeting CEO Elon Musk’s aesthetic expectations.
At the time of the report, a Tesla representative said the company was ramping up solar roof production and planned to increase the rate of production near the end of this year. In its first-quarter earnings report this year, Tesla said that despite installing “a record number” of Powerwall home battery systems during the quarter, its backlog grew. Tesla declined to comment on what that number was exactly.
Former Tesla energy salespeople told Business Insider in June that they received shifting timelines for Powerwall availability and unclear timelines for the solar roof tiles. Some said they were instructed or chose to avoid talking about the solar roof tiles with customers due to uncertainty about their availability and the fact that they would receive little or no compensation for getting a customer to reserve them.
Fox Business reported on Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission had sent subpoenas to Tesla concerning the company’s plans to explore going private and Musk’s statements about the process.
Musk has attracted controversy over his statements about his desire to convert Tesla into a private company, which have raised questions about the certainty of funding Musk has referenced and where exactly that funding will come from.
Read The Wall Street Journal’s full story here.
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