Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk has dropped another Twitter bomb, this time announcing that starting next week, Tesla solar PV panels and Tesla’s integrated solar glass tile roof would be sold only as a package deal with the company’s home battery storage system, the Powerwall 2.
The Tweet, which appeared on Thursday morning Australian eastern time, was quickly followed by another, which appeared to offer some sort of explanation for the move, being that it would enable “super simple install and seamless whole house back-up” in case of grid outages.
Solar power will feed exclusively to Powerwall. Powerwall will interface only between utility meter & house main breaker panel, enabling super simple install & seamless whole house backup during utility dropouts.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 22, 2021
The move to sell all Tesla solar products – and most significantly the company’s troubled Solar Roof – with one or more Powerwalls comes as the company struggles to keep up with demand for its 13.5kWh home battery system, the price for which it has raised twice in the past six months – including in Australia – to reflect the tightening of supply.
It also follows closely on reports that the California-based company has hiked the price of its integrated Solar Roof product, with US customers telling various sources about drastic and unexpected price increases on existing Solar Roof orders, adding between $SU20,000 and $30,000 to the cost of installation.
But the decision to package solar and battery storage is probably more to do with the direction the company has been taking through partnerships with the likes of Octopus Energy in the UK, that package solar, storage and preferably a Tesla EV into a retail energy deal that promises cheaper, more reliable power than from the grid.
In Australia just last month, the EV giant launched a new-look Tesla Energy Plan in South Australia which, in partnership with retailer Energy Locals, offers a $2,000 discount on the retail price of a Powerwall 2 battery, as well as access to time-of-use power pricing and $220 a year in grid support credits.
How the new rules will affect the Australian market remains to be seen – One Step has reached out to Tesla Australia to ask what it means Down Under. But considering the Solar Roof is still yet to become available for install on Australian households, it might not mean much.