Column: Other Tesla ventures put squeeze on SolarCity


Just a few months before Tesla Inc. plans to start making solar cells and solar panels at its Buffalo gigafactory, the electric vehicle maker is looking for ways to save cash in its solar energy business.

After all, Tesla already has its hands full, with opening its battery gigafactory in Nevada and preparing to start producing its more affordable Model 3 sedan – a $35,000 electric vehicle whose success or failure could have a huge impact on Tesla’s future.

Both of those ventures will take billions of dollars to pull off in their entirety. The last thing Tesla needs right now is another drain on its bank account, which is what SolarCity would be.

“We’re prioritizing cash preservation for that business,” said Jason Wheeler, Tesla’s chief financial officer, during a conference call Wednesday.

SolarCity plant to start production by summer, Tesla says

While the company…



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