Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tesla proved its resilience by declaring it experienced a massive increase in the number of Solar Roof installations in the second quarter (Q2).
In its latest earnings report, the automotive and energy company stated it “roughly tripled” the number installed Solar Roofs compared to the first quarter. The specific number of installations were not provided in the report, though it did indicate Tesla is expanding its installation teams to meet the demand.
On the Q2 earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he expects solar "is only going to get better" later this year.
“In order to achieve a sustainable energy future, we have to have sustainable energy generation, which I think is going to primarily be solar,” said Musk.
Tesla reported in March that it expanded the production of Solar Roofs at its gigafactory in Buffalo, N.Y., to create enough solar tiles in a week for 1,000 homes. Musk said, however, that stay-at-home orders and the like hampered the ability to conduct installations and gain permits.
In June, it was revealed that Tesla was emailing customers who had put down a deposit for a Solar Roof to inform them that they would no longer receive one due to not being in Tesla’s coverage area.
Part of the overall increase for its solar technology is due to Tesla making home retrofit solar more affordable as well as offering an increased efficiency panel. When including federal tax credits, Tesla states its solar is $1.49 per watt, though it did increase the cost of its larger solar systems and is beginning to offer price matching.
“Tesla Solar is the lowest-cost solar in the United States,” Musk said. “We are very confident that people will have our solar product, whether it’s the solar retrofit or the Solar Roof.”
Still, solar numbers are not where they once were for the company. In Q1 2020, before the pandemic took hold, Tesla installed 35 megawatts. In Q2 2020, it installed 27 megawatts, a 23% decrease. However, when compared to Q2 2019, Tesla is at roughly the same installation rate, as it deployed 29 megawatts this time last year (a 7% decrease).
The company overall achieved its fourth sequential profit in Q2 2020 despite the closure of its main factory in Fremont, Calif., for nearly half the quarter. Musk also announced that Tesla plans on building its next gigafactory near Austin, Texas.