Tesla Struggles With Solar Roof Production, Quality Issues Noted

AUG 16 2018 BY VANJA KLJAIC 25

The production of solar roof tiles has been delayed by assembly-line problems

Tesla’s production of solar roof tiles is facing significant delays. According to Reuters, these are caused by assembly-line problems at its factory.

Furthermore, the products leaving the production facility are reportedly not up to aesthetical standards envisioned by the company CEO Elon Musk. This was revealed to the media company by eight former and current employees of both Tesla and Panasonic – with whom Tesla is running the Gigafactory 2 as part of its joint venture deal.

The “Solar Roof” – produced at the New York factory  – is a product that mimics the design of a normal roof, but is able to generate electricity, a combination that has proved challenging. For Musk, pushing a seemingly perfect product has always been the goal. The same principle is applied to the power generating roof by Tesla, but that’s proving to cause a lot of issues production wise.

“Aesthetic look is the key point that Elon is always not satisfied with,” said another former Tesla employee, who works in Fremont, California. “That’s the big issue.”

The Buffalo, New York plant opened up last year. But, thanks to the repeated holdups experienced in the production facility, Tesla’s partner in the joint venture, Panasonic, was forced to seek other buyers for the components it had built to sell to Tesla, according to a Panasonic employee, a former Panasonic employee, and a former Tesla employee.

Tesla Solar Roof – Tuscan Tile

Tesla started to accept $1,000 deposits for future Solar Roof customers in May 2017, seven months after it unveiled a prototype. Generally a solid idea, the Solar Roof might be an answer to a renewable home energy supply that’s completely independent of the local power grid, so let’s hope the company can improve on its production process and deliver this product in sufficient quantities in the future.

Source: Reuters

Categories: Tesla

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25 Comments on "Tesla Struggles With Solar Roof Production, Quality Issues Noted"

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JasonB

So solar is basically dead now? Tesla is car company and should be valued as such?

Chris O

The grid storgae business seems to be doing pretty well.

jelloslug

No. Hope that helps.

Get Real

Keep dreaming Jason!

Nix

Since when does delay mean death? Especially at Tesla.

ModernMarvelFan

Well said… Tesla almost always delivers but never on time… =) Delay is almost expected.

Warren

“Aesthetic look is the key point that Elon is always not satisfied with,” said another former Tesla employee, who works in Fremont, California. “That’s the big issue.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXydX9p_ZxA&authuser=0

Lou Grinzo

Given all the solar panels I see on homes and businesses in Rochester and the Finger Lakes — not the sunniest of climates, to say the least — I have to ask: What is the value add of solar tiles? Unless they have lower lifetime TCO than panels, and I’m guessing they don’t, then they are to solar power what falcon wing doors are to cars.

Chris O

In the long run your roof is free if you install this instead of a regular roof on your new home. It’s much lower ROI than regular panels though, you have to care about aesthetics to opt for Solar Roof.

Shaun

Ever had to deal with a neighborhood association? It is often a major problem for the type of consumers who can afford a large rooftop solar system.

eject

Move to a free country.

Will

Move or get one with no hoa.

james

Or hell, join the board and be the change… instead of just complaining or leaving.

Will

Yelp. I might run for a HOA spot

james

Not in Texas. We have a law that says the HOA cannot prevent installation of solar panels. Not only that but the state cannot tax the real or perceived value of those panels in property taxes. I’m on my HOA board as I wanted to be part of the solution instead of just bitching about my HOA. 🙂

Alan

The idea is to compare – over lifetime ~ the cost of ownership of solar tiles (including installation) to regular shingles (plus installation) and solar panels (plus installation). You save on labor, because you are installing one thing ; that’s important, because half the cost of getting home solar usually is installation. Furthermore, it’s supposed to last longer than a conventional roof.

That’s the concept, in any case. If their production costs are too high, then it doesn’t work.

Viking79

Asphalt shingles with solar panels mounted on top will be vastly cheaper than the Tesla roof. The Tesla roof is specifically targeting those that use tiles or other expensive premium roof materials. An asphalt roof with Shingles might be 6,000 to replace plus the solar install of maybe 15,000. The Tesla roof on the same is like 45,000+ (twice as much).

Nix

It is lower lifetime TCO than panels + a premium roof.

If you don’t have a premium home that would justify a premium roof in the first place (not even considering solar, just the roof), or if your roof does not need a full replacement, then you would want to get Tesla’s standard solar panels + your current standard quality roof.

Just like EV’s your mileage WILL vary. Whether the current Solar Roof will work for you is like asking whether a Bolt or a Volt is a better choice to buy. It all comes down to your own personal needs.

If you need a hurricane force wind rated, fire rated, and large hail impact rated roof on a premium house, your needs are different than someone who just needs the cheapest thinnest asphalt shingles on a cheap house.

Bunny

Plus don’t forget the solar pool heater panels too. With hurricane style hip roofs you run out of room pretty easily, so solar shingles make a lot of sense.

Will

Solar works even when it’s cloudy. Albeit at reduced effectiveness.

Vexar

Suggestion: employ lots of Quality Control workers. You need to fill those jobs anyway, or risk fines from the state!

Nick

Looks like Musk will be sleeping there for a while.

Viking79

He might be sleeping somewhere else for a while too. Orange is the new black… 😉

Will

There goes the 50k roof

Re-Volted

I’m definitely a potential customer but they need to get it together quickly as I’m doing my roof next spring regardless. I’m starting to see some competitive products too so the pressure is on, but I’m hoping…..