Tesla is currently revamping its solar business to try to go back to growth and we’ve now learned of a new program where Tesla deploys a solar power system within 24 hours after ordering online.
Tesla Solar Revamp
SolarCity has long been the biggest residential solar company in the country, but it also consistently delivered losses throughout its existence.
It pioneered new models to sell solar power systems with no upfront cost by leasing them to homeowners and selling them the electricity it generates, like a regular electric utility.
The model created impressive growth, but it required them to pay for the costly systems upfront on most installations, which weighed heavy on their financials.
When Tesla acquired SolarCity back in 2016, it gradually moved away from that model in order to make the company more sustainable, but it also destroyed its growth.
Now as part of Tesla Energy, its solar business saw its revenue plunge every quarter and gross profits are down as well.
Last month, Tesla slipped to third place for residential solar installations in the US.
CEO Elon Musk has been guiding a reversal of that trend in 2019 with a ramp-up of the Tesla solar roof tiles and solar panels for the roof retrofits.
Earlier this year, Tesla announced a plan to revive its solar business by undercutting the competition with <$2 per watt systems.
Tesla Solar in 24 hours
Rick Hall got what appears to be the first solar installation from Tesla Energy within 24 hours after ordering online.
When Tesla changed its solar pricing, the company also simplified its ordering process that now consists of simply ordering systems in 4 kW increments:
Hall told Electrek that he wanted a new solar power system on his house in Vista, California in order to charge his two electric cars with solar energy.
He ordered a 4 kW system online for $11,400 before incentives and to his surprise, Tesla installed the solar system within 24 hours.
The system is not online yet since it needs to be approved by a city inspector and the local electric utility, but Tesla’s part is done.
Tesla was proud of the accomplishment and they filmed the project and interviewed Hall after completing it.
We reached out to Tesla about the new 24-hour solar installation program and we will update if we get a comment.
The entire ordering and installation process is a big part of the cost of solar power systems. So if you can shorten the timeline significantly, you can also reduce the cost significantly.
That’s what Tesla is also trying to do with the solar roof tiles, but they are already doing it with the solar panel installations.
Of course, I have to assume that it’s not available everywhere since Tesla needs solar installation teams ready to go, but the fact now that a big part of the pre-installation process is now handled by the customer with pictures, it eliminates a lot of site visits.
Now let’s see if it has an impact on Tesla’s solar growth during the second half of the year.
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