Tesla has paused solar roof installations due to issues with getting its solar roof tiles. Now some clients will be left without a roof for months.
Supply chain issues are affecting virtually every industry in the world at this point.
When it comes to its auto business, Tesla was not without supply chain challenges, but it has fared a lot better than its peers and managed to double its production last year.
Its solar business also grew over the last year, but it also started to be affected by supply chain issues late last year when we reported on early signs that supply chain issues are affecting Tesla’s solar panel business.
In December, we released a report on how Tesla was starting to delay some solar rooftop projects. At the time, Tesla’s solar roof installations weren’t affected by the same issues, but things changed in February when Tesla started to have concerns about solar tile supply.
At the time, Tesla informed customers who were about to get installations about potential delays.
Now a month later, the situation has worsened and Tesla has virtually paused solar roof installations.
Electrek obtained an internal communication from Tesla’s solar scheduling team saying to focus on solar panel rooftop retrofits as solar tile supply is low. In the communication, the team committed to not schedule new installations.
The supply issue is leaving some customers in precarious situations.
For example, Ryan Prijic, a Tesla solar roof customer in the Los Angeles area, had Tesla start his solar roof installation in January by removing his existing roof and build the “dry-in” – a waterproof state of the roof with protective film that goes over the plywood before installing the actual roofing material, which in this case are solar tiles.
Here’s what it looks like:
At the time, Prijic was told that the solar tile installation would happen within the next eight weeks and that the dry-in’s waterproof capacity would last for about six months so it wouldn’t be a problem.
Now in March, more than eight weeks after the removal of the roof, there’s still no solar tile installation in sight, and Prijic is understandably starting to worry.
When contacting his Tesla Roof advisor, which wasn’t an easy task, he was told of the solar tile shortage and warned that his installation might not happen before the end of the year – way past the waterproof period of the dry-in.
In fact, the roof has already leaked on two occasions, and Tesla had to come and fix it. One of the crew members who came to fix the leak told the owner that a big shipment of solar tiles was stuck at the LA port, but this couldn’t be confirmed.
If an ongoing installation like this one is being paused in the middle of it for months, we can imagine that there will be significant delays for other planned solar roof installations.
Prijic is not alone in his situation. Many buyers with planned installations are reporting that their timeline has been pushed and there’s little communication from Tesla.
Tesla is producing solar tiles at its New York Gigafactory, and it had a goal to produce enough tiles for 1,000 solar roof installations per week, but it looks like it is nowhere near that goal as getting hands on solar cells is difficult throughout the whole industry.
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Author: Fred Lambert