Exclusive: Tesla woes send Panasonic’s U.S. solar cells to Philippines

LOS ANGELES/TOKYO (Reuters) – Most of the solar cells made by Panasonic at Tesla Inc’s New York manufacturing plant are being purchased by H.R.D. Singapore’s factories in the Philippines, a chief supplier of panels to Japanese eco-homebuilder Ichijo Co Ltd, two sources familiar with the arrangement said.

Reuters reported on May 15 that Panasonic planned to ship most cells from the plant overseas, instead of selling them to Tesla for its trademark Solar Roof as initially intended, because of low demand from Tesla and a trade loophole that had fired up new foreign interest. That loophole allows companies outside the United States to ship solar panels into America duty-free provided the panels are made with U.S.-built cells.

Until now, the identity of the buyer of the Panasonic cells, which Panasonic is producing at the Tesla facility under an agreement struck in 2016, has not been published.


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