Electric car manufacturer Tesla reportedly plans to close a dozen solar facilities in nine states in the U.S.
Following an announcement that the company would be cutting nine percent of its workforce, Tesla will reportedly be closing nearly a dozen of their solar battery facilities purchased from SolarCity last year in a deal that cost the company $2.6 billion. This report comes from three internal company documents as well as reports from seven current and former solar employees.
The latest cuts to Tesla’s facilities will include the closure of 13 or 14 SolarCity locations, two internal documents provide conflicting figures so it is currently unknown exactly how many will be closed. The company will also be ending a retail partnership with Home Depot which reportedly generated approximately half of SolarCity’s sales. Tesla has declined to clarify how many facilities will be closing, but internal documents show that approximately 60 installation facilities will continue to operate.
The facilities slated to be shut down were listed in the internal documents as being located in California, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Arizona, and Delaware.
Tesla stated that the SolarCity cuts were part of their broader decision to decrease their workforce by nine percent, saying in a statement to Reuters: “We continue to expect that Tesla’s solar and battery business will be the same size as automotive over the long term.” Tesla has also reportedly fired dozens of SolarCity employees at call centers in Nevada and Utah.
Analysts have now begun to question Tesla’s strategy for the solar business. Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research, stated: “In effect they seem to be saying, `We have no strategy for selling solar'” Gillett further stated that Tesla’s purchase of SolarCity “looks pretty awful right now.”
Lyndon Rive, the founder of SolarCity and Tesla CEO Elon Musk´s first cousin, left Tesla last year and has not responded to a request for comment on Tesla’s shutdown of SolarCity facilities.