The “great majority” of solar cells being produced at Tesla’s factory in upstate New York are being sold overseas instead of being used in the company’s trademark “Solar Roof” as originally intended, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.
The exporting underscores the depth of Tesla’s troubles in the U.S. solar business, which the electric car maker entered in 2016 with its controversial $2.6 billion purchase of SolarCity.
Tesla has only sporadically purchased solar cells produced by its partner in the factory, Panasonic Corp, according to a Buffalo solar factory employee speaking on condition of anonymity. The rest are going largely to foreign buyers, according to a Panasonic letter to U.S. Customs officials reviewed by Reuters.
Tesla's solar cells are being bought, but not by Americans.