Tesla has reportedly installed around 3,000 solar roofs since 2016 — well behind Elon Musk's goal

·2 min read
Tesla solar roof
Tesla solar roof only installed around 3,000 systems total, according to a new research report.Reuters
  • A new report says Tesla Solar is behind on its goal to install 1,000 solar roofs per week.

  • Tesla Solar customers have complained of delays, and one woman alleged her faulty panels caught fire.

  • Elon Musk has previously spoken about issues facing Tesla's Solar Roof project.

Tesla Energy has installed around 3,000 solar roof systems in the US since its launch in 2016, according to a new report. That estimate is well below a target to install 1,000 systems per week that Musk mentioned back in 2020 during Tesla's first-quarter earnings call.

The report, conducted by researchers at energy research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, details how the solar panel brand has been shaping up following Tesla's rocky 2016 acquisition of the solar panel brand.

In 2016, Tesla bought SolarCity, a solar panel company created by Elon Musk's cousins, initially sparking complaints from shareholders alleging that the takeover was a bailout for SolarCity, which was $3 billion in debt. Musk sat on the boards at Tesla and SolarCity at the time of the purchase.

Shortly after the $2.6 billion acquisition, Musk was hit with a shareholder lawsuit, and complaints of delays from homeowners, and a Colorado woman who alleged faulty solar panels on her home caught fire. Musk went on to win the lawsuit brought by shareholders, with a judge ruling that he had not breached his fiduciary duty to Tesla shareholders by purchasing SolarCity.

The recent report from Wood Mackenzie found Tesla's average weekly installations hit 21 systems — which would put Solar Roof's share of the roofing market at 0.03%.

solar roof tesla
A marketing image for Tesla's Solar Roof project.Tesla

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

Tesla Solar Roof hit its highest number of installations per week in the first quarter of 2022, notching up to 32 systems installed per week, the report said.

Musk has previously spoken about issues Tesla Solar has faced. In an April 2021 earnings call, Musk said Tesla had made "significant mistakes" calculating installation costs, including troubles "assessing the difficulty of certain roofs," and that the "complexity of roofs varies dramatically."

Max Issokson, the lead author of the report, said in a release that Tesla's failure to gain more of the roofing market leaves room for competitors to take the "lead in building-integrated solar roofing products."

Issokson highlighted GAF Energy's Timberline Solar roofing system as a leading competitor to Tesla, writing that the product is both "faster and easier to install," and more poised to achieve widespread adoption in the solar-roof market.

"The future potential of Tesla's Solar Roof will rely on the company's ability to simplify and streamline installations and tap into a broader customer base," Issokson said.

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