- Elon Musk said Tesla made “significant mistakes” calculating installation costs for its Solar Roof.
- Tesla this month hiked the prices for customers awaiting installation by up to 70%.
- Musk said the company had underestimated the complexity of roof installations.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
On Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call on Monday, CEO Elon Musk answered a question about why Tesla had jacked up the price of its Solar Roof by as much as 70% for customers awaiting installation.
“We did find that we basically made some significant mistakes in assessment of difficulty of certain roofs,” he said, adding that the “complexity of roofs varies dramatically.”
“Some roofs are literally two times or three times easier than other roofs. So you just can’t have a one-size-fits-all situation,” he said.
“If a roof has a lot of protuberances, or if the roof — sort of the core structure of the roof is rotted out or is not strong enough to hold the Solar Roof, then the cost can be double, sometimes three times what our initial quotes were,” he added.
Musk confirmed The Verge’s reporting that customers who weren’t happy with the new quote could get their deposits refunded.
He said that despite the price hikes, demand for the Solar Roof remained strong — though he did not clarify whether this was from new customers or from customers awaiting installation who had agreed to the higher prices.
Musk also praised the company’s decision to sell its solar products only with its Powerwall storage battery, saying it would make installations less complex.
“It will be much easier, because the power from the Solar Roof, the Solar Glass Roof, or the solar panels will only ever go directly into the Powerwall,” Musk said.
“And the Powerwall will only ever go between the utility mains, right, between the utility and the main power panel of the house, which means you never need to touch the main circuit breakers of the house. You never need to touch the house circuit breakers,” he said.
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