Tesla executives like CEO Elon Musk may point out that the company’s energy business is just as important as its electric vehicle division, there is no doubt that stationary batteries and solar products just aren’t as sexy or exciting as all-electric supercars, futuristic pickups, or full self- Driving software. But as Tesla Energy is on the rise, it is becoming clear that some of the company’s products, such as the solar roof, could very well become stealth disruptors.
Tesla Energy’s flagship solar is the Solar Roof, which was first introduced in 2016. Since then, at least until now, the attractive solar shingles have not seen any real upswing. In the years since its debut, Tesla has focused on optimizing and improving the solar roof, and the result of those initiatives were the V3 tiles that hit the market last year. Tesla’s solar roof installations rose steadily back then, but just like the company’s energy division, growth was mostly in the background.
Prior to the third quarter conference call, Tesla Energy made headlines after roofing company Weddle and Sons Roofing announced it had completed a full solar roof installation in just four days. The project was no joke either, because the system consisted of 15 kW solar roof tiles, which covered an area of approx. 4,000 m². (approx. 372 sqm). This was a milestone for the company, but as Tesla noted in its Q3 2020 Update Letter, this installation wasn’t even the fastest to date.
Tesla announced in its update letter for the third quarter that it was able to complete a full solar roof installation in just 1.5 days. The company did not provide any information about the size of the system, but did provide images showing the progress of the installation. This update, along with the latest Weddle and Sons Roofing report, shows that Tesla’s solar roof tiles are steadily becoming faster and easier to install.
Tesla Energy’s third quarter growth was incredibly impressive, with the company deploying 57 MW of solar power, up 111% from the second quarter. The company also announced it had deployed 759 MWh of battery storage, an 81% increase over the 2nd. It is only a matter of time before the company’s solar and battery storage systems become a force to be reckoned with.
Interestingly, the Tesla solar roof doesn’t really have a lot of competition in the U.S. residential solar market. Granted, products like the SunTegra solar shingles could create some competition, but the overall roster of competitors for the electric car maker’s V3 tiles is relatively small. Against this background, the potential path to dominance for the Tesla solar roof seems largely clear. Tesla only needs to produce them in quantities that meet demand.
While people are focused on selling Tesla vehicles, the energy business is also growing rapidly.
In the third quarter, 57 MW of solar energy was used, 111% growth in QoQ and 759 MWh of battery storage installed, 81% more than in the last quarter.
– Ray4️⃣Tesla⚡️🚘☀️🔋 (@ ray4tesla) October 21, 2020
Tesla’s reach in the housing market has actually increased. The eleventh semi-annual Solar Marketplace Intel Report from EnergySage, for example, concluded that the Tesla Powerwall 2 almost dominated the US residential market for stationary storage. The competition, consisting of battery storage systems from companies such as LG Chem, is far behind, with the Powerwall dominating around half of the offers in the EnergySage Marketplace.
Elon Musk spoke on Tesla’s recent conference call about the potential of the solar roof. As before, Musk was optimistic about the shingles, although this time around the CEO seemed more confident about the impending disorder. Musk even noted that the solar roof’s status as a “killer product” will show itself over the next year.
“If you look around the neighborhood in the future, ten years from now, what do you want? Which products will make your life better? What future do you want? And I think a future in which we have beautiful roofs, which generate energy, which are robust and resilient and in every way better than a normal roof and full of energy, that is the future we want. Solar Roof is a killer product. That will show up in the next year, ”he said.