The sun did not shine on Tesla and its solar products for the second quarter of 2023, though it did flare when it came to its energy storage operations.
In its quarterly update report, the electric car manufacturer and energy company listed its total solar deployments for Q2 2023 as 66 megawatts, a 1 megawatt decline from what it deployed in Q1 2023. It’s a 38% decrease from the 94 megawatts it deployed in Q2 2022.
In the report, Tesla lays the blame predominantly on “a high interest rate environment that is causing postponement of solar purchasing industrywide.”
As with previous reports, Tesla does not specify how much of its deployed solar was traditional solar panels versus its Solar Roof product. Research firm Wood Mackenzie issued a report last April claiming Tesla had only installed 3,000 of its Solar Roof systems in the U.S. since 2016 when the product launched. Tesla Energy decried the estimation as “incorrect by a large margin.”
Tesla's energy storage, on the other hand, saw a massive 222% increase compared to Q2 2022 at 3.6 gigawatt-hours, which was slightly less than the record-setting 3.8 gigawatt-hours it deployed last quarter. The company credits it first dedicated Megapack factory in Lathrop, Calif., for ramping up storage production.
Overall, the company reported $1.51 billion in revenue from its energy generation and storage division. This is down slightly from $1.53 billion in the first quarter of 2023, though far exceeds the $866 million it brought in during Q2 2022.
During the company's earnings call, Drew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering, said on the residential side of the business, Tesla recently surpassed half a million Powerwalls installed. He noted that Tesla is launching “Charge on Solar,” which allows Tesla Powerwall and vehicle customers to charge their vehicles using their excess solar and drive “only on the sunshine that hits their roof.”
He said, however, that bringing electric capabilities to customers requires working through an environment he described as “fractured” and regulatory on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis.
“In the long run, the value of residential energy software and hardware will be driven by the level of market access that utilities, market operators and regulators permit,” he said.
Tesla’s Solar Roof has received mixed media attention over the past month. On July 28, YouTuber Marques Brownlee reported on his channel that he purchased a Solar Roof and Powerwall system for his home, and touted an energy bill of $0 for an entire year.
Meanwhile, Tesla agreed after months of litigation to pay over $6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought on by customers who faced price spikes for their Solar Roofs in 2021. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of more than 6,300 customers who signed up for the Solar Roof system, claimed the prices quoted provided by Tesla substantially increased when it came time to install the photovoltaic glass roof shingle system.