- Aug 21, 2019 9:57 pm GMT
- 410 views
This is an interesting development, since it comes on the heels of Tesla CEO Elon Musk announcing a re-launch of the company's solar panel business. The number of solar panel installations made by the company dropped dramatically after the acquisition of SolarCity by Tesla.
Walmart has accused Tesla of several things in the lawsuit, including causing fires at its stores. The Arkansas retail giant also stated that Tesla had "an ill-considered business model that required it to install solar panel systems haphazardly and as quickly as possible in order to turn a profit, and the contractors and subcontractors who performed the original installation work had not been properly hired, trained, and supervised. "
Hmm..,that sounds a bit like most solar companies and installers during the solar boom who, in their pursuit of profits, emphasized volume of installations over quality. (I worked as a door-to-door salesman for solar panels in California and have first-hand experience of the misinformation peddled while training salespersons to convince customers).
For what it's worth, Tesla has reinvented its solar installation business for homes as a rental venture in which homeowners pay $50 to rent a solar panel and pay part (or the entire amount) of their bill with solar. Musk said on Twitter that it is like a "money printer on your roof".
I am not sure how he arrived at that conclusion, considering the uncertainty related to federal ITC extension. But the tariffs on solar panels imported from China coupled with the increasingly aggressive climate change goals set by states will work in his favor.
Of course, Tesla didn't really suffer much due to the slowdown in its home installation business; the Palo Alto-based company shifted tracks to utility-scale installations. Analysts are also skeptical about Tesla's move because it offloads several installation tasks onto customers. Apparently, communication will take place through messaging and sending of photographs. Not a good look, this, for the Starman.