Production of Tesla Powerwall Falls Short of Demand Due to Chip Shortages

published: 2021-07-14 9:30 | category: News

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed at a court hearing recently that his company will not be able to fulfill the current production targets of the Tesla Powerwall due to an ongoing chip shortage. According to Musk, the company will not even be able to meet half of the  target that was set for this quarter.

Musk was prosecuted for the acquisition of the solar company SolarCity back in 2016, and has been asked to defend himself at court. The union pension fund and asset managers of the company have accused Musk of pressuring the board members to allocate company assets to buy SolarCity for US$2.6 billion. The acquisition of the company, which had been on the brink of bankruptcy, forced Tesla to shoulder billions of debts and obligations from SolarCity, which resulted in major losses for the electric vehicle maker.

During his testimony at the court on Monday, Musk claimed that his company's residential energy storage system Powerwall would not have existed without the acquisition of SolarCity. He also disclosed that the production volume of the product is less than half of the market demand of roughly 80K units due to the market's severe chip shortage.

Musk commented that Tesla is still capable of producing 30-35K spare batteries during this quarter under an optimized status, and believes that the chip shortage situation is the only reason for its production lag. Tesla had enjoyed a revenue of US$494 million for its energy products in the first quarter of 2021, which is higher than its revenue of US$293 million during the same period last year. The sales of its electric products had a YoY increase of 71% this quarter primarily due to the sales performance of the Powerwall. Based on this performance alone, it is clear that battery energy storage systems have  become a major source of revenue for Tesla.

How is Tesla’s Solar Business Doing?

Nowadays, Tesla has also put a lot of effort into the adjustment of its solar business, and it has started experiencing growth in sales for three consecutive quarters after stipulating new prices and offering low price guarantees. The installed capacity of its solar systems has bounced back from a low of 27MW during the second quarter of 2020 to 92MW in the first quarter of 2021, which is a YoY increase of 163%.

Reportedly, Tesla has  also released its largest 420W solar panel after releasing solar inverters and refining the residential energy system product line in early 2021. Although there had been no updates on its existing solar products for a while-- Hanwha’s 340W solar panel  had been the only available option-- a recent report from the foreign media Electrek has  suggested that the company has started supplying 420MW solar panels, upon receiving confirmation with third party Tesla installers.

The new solar panel is larger in size, and equips fewer solar modules, despite featuring an insignificant conversion efficiency at roughly 19.8%. According to the introduction for the product, the solar panel adopts the patented design Zep Groove of Zep Solar; it is almost fully black, and can be connected with Tesla ZS modules, where a maximum reduction of 20% solar modules is achieved under the same capacity.
 (Cover photo source: Flickr/Daniel Oberhaus CC BY 2.0)

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