Energy efficiency blog

Tesla x Panasonic

The Tesla “Gigafactory 2” in Buffalo, New York has been announced as the site to commence production of a ‘sleek and low-profile’ solar panel made by Panasonic.

In a further sign of the symbiotic intent between Panasonic and Tesla, this will be a product made exclusively available to Tesla and its installation venture, SolarCity. The panel is intended to be an alternative for customers who do not need ‘solar roof’ tiles – the widely publicised and much anticipated product announced under the Tesla umbrella that intends to convert the roof itself into a solar array. Of course not many will want to undertake a reconstruction of their existing roof structure in order to fit a solar system, which is where the Panasonic-built panel comes into play, opening the market for retrofitters who still place a high emphasis on the aesthetic approach taken by Elon Musk’s Tesla.


Prior to its’ acquisition by Tesla, SolarCity absorbed the Zep Solar brand which boasted many of the engineers who pushed toward the development of a ‘low-profile’ design whose ethos now filters throughout the Tesla brand via Daniel Flanigan – co-founder of Zep, and who now works with Tesla in the Solar Systems Product Design area as its’ Senior Director.

Indeed, Tesla seeks to define their own style of panel, by their own declaration “Our solar panels blend into your roof with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware. The result is a clean, streamlined look.” Surely their belief is that many consumers will agree.

While the high-minded objective of Tesla is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”, two challenges it faces is in both awareness and adoption. With “low-profile” and “solar roof”, Tesla looks to tie the already famous example of the economy of scale championed by its’ Gigafactory, to a newfound economy of style. There is naturally a deliberate approach by Tesla to create for itself a distinguishable brand identity, which is essential in achieving its’ ultimate goal. After all it was Musk himself who -in the lead up to the merger with SolarCity- touted the importance of having a ‘differentiated product strategy’. More and more we are seeing one of Tesla’s true strengths lay in its pursuit of fusion. That is the fusion of ideas, people and technologies.


In the near future, Tesla will be able to offer energy generation to either a new or existing home, the capacity to store it and our way from A to B.

The demand for energy across the globe so loudly calls for more people and organisations to enter this space offering a complete solution.

Scroll to top