In some cases, the company charged customers more than double the agreed price, sparking a wave of claims against Solar Roof, Tesla and Elon Musk.
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5 min read
This article was translated using AI technologies from our Spanish edition. Errors can occur as a result of this process.
Tesla doesn't stop resolving one controversy when another arrives. This time around, Elon Musk, the company's CEO, admitted they made "significant mistakes" with their solar roof project, such as delays and cost overruns in installing solar roofs.
On a conference call with investors, Musk said the company is still struggling to meet high demand for solar roofs. However, you still need to make more efforts to improve its spread.
Musk's remarks can be found amid complaints from customers upset about Tesla's solar roof. In addition to delays due to inability to meet demand, many report increases more than double the original price after installing their sunroof.
For example, the case of a buyer who, at the time the contract was signed, claimed to have paid $ 35,000 (about 700,000 Mexican pesos) is striking. However, shortly thereafter, he received an email stating that the new price was $ 75,000 (about 1.5 million pesos).
Solar roof even clears the snow
– Tesla (@Tesla) February 21, 2021
Elon Musk stated that Tesla had problems "assessing the difficulty of certain roofs" and said that the "complexity of roofs varies dramatically".
The SpaceX founder explained that if a roof has bulges, structural problems, or is not strong enough to support the solar tiles, the cost can be two or three times higher than original estimates. However, he made it clear that Tesla will reimburse deposits to customers who do not want to pay the price increase.
What is Tesla solar roof?
Elon Musk's electric vehicle company announced its ambitious solar roof project in 2016 and featured it on the set of the Desperate Housewives series. It was then that Tesla was trying to acquire Solar City, a solar company founded by its cousins, of whom Musk was president.
The roofs he showed off at the event didn't quite work, Fast Company later reported, and even Musk reportedly called the clapboard prototypes a "piece of crap."
Even so, the tycoon Tesla and SolarCity merged to advance its sustainable energy project. Since then, the solar roof has been revised several times and there are plans to increase the installation in the course of 2021. In fact, Tesla's CEO announced last week that its solar panels and bricks would be sold as an integrated product with its Powerwall battery.
The Tesla solar roof is slightly hydrophobic so that water, snow or ice can easily slide off
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2021
The technology for these products, known as "solar fabric," consists of separate tiles with built-in solar panels that transfer the collected energy to a Tesla Powerwall battery. This in turn supplies a transformer with voltage to convert it into alternating current.
Tesla, in the eye of public opinion
Just a week ago, an allegedly self-driving Tesla crashed and fired, two people died, causing the company's shares to decline and millions in losses to Musk's fortune.
A few days later, a customer publicly protested Tesla's mistreatment of her complaint, claiming that the faulty brakes on her parents' Tesla Model 3 caused an accident that took her to the hospital. While the company apologized, the controversy was a major blow to Tesla's image in China.
These incidents are exacerbated by new problems for Tesla in meeting demand for solar roofs, as well as the increase in end costs for customers. But that's not all.
According to the financial report for the first quarter of 2021, the company had sales of $ 494 million. Even so, Tesla's power generation products business is not profitable, reports The Verge.