Last night (March 14) Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk got onstage to unveil its next vehicle, the affordable crossover SUV, the Model Y. He also discussed Tesla’s commitment to solar homes, calling it the “year of the Solar Roof.”
While the main event was the unveiling of the Model Y, the SUV with a 300-mile range based on Tesla’s Model 3 frame, which will cost as little as $39,000 once it reaches mass production, Musk also discussed the future of the Tesla Solar Roof and rooftop solar retrofits. Some have questioned of late whether or not Tesla would still be a player in the industry.
"This definitely going to be the year of the solar roof and Powerwall. Because of extreme challenges with the Model 3 production we had to basically had to allocate all resources to model 3 production or other wise we were going to die,” Musk said at the event. “Now that Model 3 production is gong pretty well, we can finally allocate engineering attention to the solar reef as well as the solar retrofit.”
Tesla bought out SolarCity years ago, and at the time, the company was the nation’s largest home solar installer. While Musk was its chairman, Tesla’s purchase of it began to change its business model significantly. First the company stopped doing door-to-door sales and then it brought sales in-house to its Tesla stores.
In 2016 Musk announced that the company would offer two rooftop solar products, the Solar Roof, which replaces an entire roof with photovoltaic tiles that look like regular roofing materials, and a retrofit system, like a regular rooftop solar array.
Now it looks like Tesla is recommitting to rooftop solar and energy storage systems. “I’m pretty excited about both the solar tile roof and the solar retrofit and Powerwall and part of the reason we couldn’t make the Powerwall is because we couldn’t make enough cells, yo either allocate cells to the car or the Powerwall and we’ve got to make the cars, so the Powerwall was cell starved basically,” Musk said. “But it’s 2019 now and we’re now going to ramp it up.”
Still, we’ll see how soon the company starts ramping up production and marketing both solar rooftop types.Tweet