Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has made some bold moves this year, announcing a $1 billion investment in solar panel manufacturer SolarCity Inc (NYSE:SCTY) in September and announcing a strategic alliance with Panasonic Corp (NASD:PCZN) in February.
Tesla also announced that it would merge with SolarCity in 2018, marking the first time the company has done so in almost two decades.
But the merger with Panasonic is expected to be the most significant move by the company.
Panasonic’s battery business is one of the most advanced in the solar panel market, and the deal could result in a bigger slice of the pie.
In this video, SolarWorld Solar Power Inc (NVSE:SWE) CEO, Jim Lutz, discusses the future of battery technology and how the company plans to grow its business.
The deal with Panasonic could also be a boon for Tesla, as it could potentially help the electric carmaker expand its battery business in the U.S.
The company announced in September that it was investing $1.4 billion in solar energy startup SolarCity.
Tesla, the world’s biggest automaker, said it would use the funds to invest $1 trillion in solar and wind energy by 2030.
Tesla plans to invest between $20 billion and $30 billion in the two companies, but the investment will be contingent on the two firms’ performance.
As part of the merger, Tesla will retain a 25% stake in SolarCity and Panasonic will retain 25% of SolarCity’s shares.
Tesla also said it was “excited” about the partnership, but declined to provide further details.
The SolarCity deal is also significant for Tesla.
The company announced a $2 billion investment last year in solar module manufacturer SolarWorld, which is one that SolarCity has long relied on for battery technology.
SolarWorld’s SolarPower division is the second largest solar module supplier in the world after GE Solar Energy, according to Bloomberg.
SolarWorld also has a major presence in the automotive industry, where it has a portfolio of battery-powered vehicles.
Its new cars, the SolarDrive and SolarEdge, were among the first vehicles to use a hybrid battery pack.
SolarCity and Tesla will both be able to use SolarPower’s advanced battery technology for the new cars.
SolarCity currently makes batteries for other automakers, including Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen, and SolarCity is developing batteries for Nissan, as well as Toyota.
SolarPower is also a leader in solar-powered cars, which includes its latest model, the Powerwall.
The Powerwall has a range of 150 miles and can be charged from a car battery.
SolarWay is another well-known battery supplier that Tesla purchased last year.
The battery company makes batteries used in Tesla’s electric vehicles and has also developed batteries for BMW and General Motors.
Solarway is also expected to make batteries for the Tesla Model 3, which was announced in 2018.
Tesla’s battery is the largest solar-panel technology company in the United States.
The acquisition of SolarWay is a big deal for Tesla because it could help it build a large battery business that will help it compete with the larger companies in the market, like Panasonic.
Tesla is also acquiring a number of battery manufacturers.
SolarPower is in the process of acquiring the SolarMax battery supplier.
SolarMax is the lead supplier for SolarEdge and SolarPower.
SolarEdge’s solar-energy batteries are expected to help Tesla build a significant battery business.
Tesla could also use SolarWay’s expertise to build a new battery manufacturing plant in Fremont, California.
SolarEdge and Tesla are also investing heavily in the battery business of Panasonic.
Panasonic, which has been building its own battery manufacturing facilities, has been aggressively expanding into the solar-power business, with Panasonic building facilities for SolarCity SolarPower and SolarWorld.
Panasonic has been working with Tesla to develop its battery technology in collaboration with Tesla.
SolarWay has been investing heavily into battery-making, too.