While people are looking at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 to ramp up production of the solar roof tiles, the installation time might actually be the biggest bottleneck for the ramp-up of the production.
A Tesla solar installer reveals that it still takes about to 2 weeks to complete an installation.
When first launching the new product, Tesla said that it should take roughly the same time to install as a tile roof installation, which is typically 5-7 days.
Peter Rive, SolarCity co-founder/CTO who was head of solar tech at Tesla at the time, said that the actual solar portion of the installation of the solar roof is actually easier than a solar panel installation:
“We designed the solar portion of the solar roof to be easier to install than regular solar. We have learned a lot about installing solar from over 300,000 installations so we took all that and included that into the development.”
That’s a bold claim and it has yet to materialize. Two years later, it still takes about two weeks to complete an average installation.
A Tesla solar installer confirmed that one of the company’s latest installations took 12 days to complete last week.
It’s about twice as long as a standard tile roof installation and it creates a bottleneck in ramping up the rollout of the product.
Roofing is labor intensive work and the longer it takes, the more it’s going to cost.
At first, Tesla was only installing its new solar product at the homes of employees and executives, but it has since ramped up to customer installations about a year ago.
They still advertise an installation process of about two weeks:
“Installation time is dependent on the size and complexity of your roof, but most installations take approximately two weeks to complete. After installation, you can start using Solar Roof when the utility provides Permission to Operate (PTO). PTO requirements vary by region and utility.”
The PTO can add a significant amount of time between the installation and the solar roof actually going into operation.
We reported on the first Tesla solar roof customer installation going online back in April 2018.
This is a problem that they need to address. I’m surprised that it hasn’t improved that much in the 2 years since launching the project and a full year of customer installations.
Tesla told Electrek that it’s something they are working on and they expect that it will improve significantly this year.
The ramp up has been late and people have mostly attributed it to delays at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this has something to do with it too.
Hopefully, it won’t be an issue by the end of the year.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.