With the PV power division of Tesla remaining in the doldrums, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has promised to ramp up the total output of the company's solar rooftop panels, dubbed "solar roof," to 1,000 sets on a weekly basis by the end of 2019.
Tesla's special rooftop panels can be applied directly as roof tiles to become a part of the roof. This is different from the traditional solar rooftop panels that must first be installed on frames, according to the company.
As of now, Tesla already offers its smooth and textured solar rooftop panels to customers, but the total output of the two models are still relatively low.
The two other solar panel options on the company's catalog, “Slate” and “Tuscan,” are not available at the moment.
Tesla’s original plans to roll out four kinds of solar roofs (photos courtesy of Tesla)
Despite being launched in 2016, Telsa has been lagging behind the production schedules of the solar rooftop panels constantly, having postponed the completion of its expansion project twice, first to 2018 and then to 2019.
In 2018, Musk attributed the postponement of the solar roof tile production to the longer development time that is needed for the innovative product, which boasts a 30-year lifespan, as well as the need to formulate an efficient way for the installation of the roof tiles. At present, for the entire roof tiles to be installed, the original roof of a building must be dismantled.
In April 2019, Tesla reported that the company is developing a third-generation solar roof tile which consists of PV cells that feature longer life spans and easy installations. Clean Tecnica, an industrial media, believes that the major challenge for Tesla is to raise the conversion rates of the solar roof, which stands at only 18% for the initial model.
The company has been pinning much hopes on the third-generation solar roof tiles for turning around its slumping sales. In Q2 2019, its total installation volume dropped by 65% year-on-year to 29 MW, from 47 MW in Q1.
(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of Tesla)