Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last month that version 3 of the Solar Roof was designed for high-volume production and installation. New job listings on Tesla’s Careers page this week reveal that the company is also ramping up its efforts on the installation side of the equation, with numerous job listings and hiring events for new Tesla Solar Roof installers across the country.
Tesla is also kicking off a slew of hiring events across the country for Solar Roof installers to rein in new hires in support of the Solar Roof manufacturing ramp. CleanTechnica confirmed earlier this week that Tesla’s crew of Solar Roof installers have already completed the first installation of version 3 of the Solar Roof roof in California.
If Tesla is to be believed, the potential market for version 3 of the Solar Roof is massive, as the cost of the new Solar Roof should come in below the cost of the average new roof plus the cost of the electricity it produces over 20 years. Indeed, we found this to be true in our analysis of the more expensive version 2 of the Solar Roof.
CEO Elon Musk proclaimed a target of producing 1,000 Solar Roof systems per week earlier this year, and version 3 of the Solar Roof paves the way for this to become a reality. The new panels promise to be easier to install, with no onsite cutting of tiles required, being cheaper to produce, and with a more appealing aesthetic than traditional solar panels.
Moving forward, the challenge for Tesla will be to get this new army of installers trained up on a completely new class of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products that blur the lines between roofing and solar installations. The new Solar Roof tiles impressively require no blank glass tiles, which also eliminates the need to cut the glass tiles at the installation site. This not only reduces the time and cost to install one of Tesla’s Solar Roof systems on a home, but also improves the integrity of the roof. Cutting glass inevitably causes microfractures that Tesla was forced to contend with in previous versions of the Solar Roof.
Moving forward, Tesla needs to prove out its manufacturing and installation capacity as it finally looks to leverage its acquisition of SolarCity at scale. It has been years in the making, thanks to delays caused by the launch of Model 3 and the development of the Solar Roof tiles, but all signs point to success on the horizon for Tesla’s Energy business.