Tesla CEO Elon Musk provided a brief update on the company’s solar roof efforts during its annual shareholder meeting Tuesday.
Musk talked generally about the challenges of developing a rooftop solar system, the evolution of Tesla's solar roof system, and where Tesla roofs have been installed..
The discussion on solar accounted for about five minutes of the nearly two-hour meeting.
“We’re installing the solar roof in eight states,” Musk said during the meeting.
It’s unclear how many solar roofs have been installed in those eight unidentified states.
Several media outlets reported in late May that Tesla is struggling to gain traction in the U.S. market with its solar roof. Reuters reported that the majority of solar cells being produced at Tesla’s New York manufacturing plant are being purchased for use in Japan.
Additionally, it was reported that Tesla plans to start selling its solar rooftop systems for up to 16 percent cheaper than the competition, largely by standardizing its systems and forcing customers to order online.
Still, based on Musk’s comments Tuesday, the company appears intent on staying in the market and overcoming the inherit challenges it presents.
“We’re about to complete version three of the solar roof,” Musk said.
He added it is “actually quite a hard technology problem to have an integrated solar cell with a roof tile and have it look good and last for 30 years.”
He acknowledged that “many other companies have tried to solve this problem and they’ve not succeeded.”
“Like, roofs have to last a long time,” he said. “The amount of testing one has to do, and do accelerated life testing to, say, how can we predict how this will perform?”
Musk said another challenge is “making it easy to install (and) getting the cost low.”
“But I’m really excited about version three of solar roof,” he said. “I don’t want to be over confident on this, but I think we have a shot at being equal to a comp shingle roof plus someone’s utility cost, or being maybe being lower than that.
“That’s like one of the cheapest roofs available,” he said. “So you can potentially have a great roof with better economics than a normal, fairly cheap roof, and your utility bill.
“So basically if you can have a better product at a lower price that will obviously take off like crazy,” he said.
The entire shareholder meeting is available via YouTube and can be seen here.