The biggest name in home repair and furnishing and one of the biggest names in tech are teaming up in an attempt to bring solar technology into the mass consumer market. Previously, Tesla had moved its solar technology primarily through online modes, with additional displays in their Tesla showrooms occasionally luring in the luxury car company’s clientele.
Now, Tesla is taking a logical step into the physical home furnishing sphere via Home Depot, perhaps the most trusted and widely known name in the sector. It’s an attempt for Tesla to improve lagging sales of their expensive line of solar-based products. With an estimated cost to install any form of solar panel ranging between $10,000 and $30,000, it makes sense that Tesla will have their kiosks manned by solar-philes able and willing to explain the value of the investment. It’s been reported that Lowe’s was in talks with Tesla for a similar arrangement, but could not finalize an agreement.
Tesla products that will be stocked and sold at the 12 by 7-foot kiosks spanning 800 Home Depot locations will be, as of now, traditional solar panels, the Powerwall home battery that Tesla vehicle owners will be familiar with, and solar roof tiles. The Powerwall will be the primary item that Tesla representatives will be tasked with explaining and pitching to the curious peruser.
But expense considered, the sleek array of four uniquely different solar roof tiles are barely distinguishable from most non-solar roof types, and could prove to be the most Home Depot-ready product now being sold on site. The fact that they are mini solar panels makes them the sleeper item that Home Depot clientele may be most inclined to put in an order for.
A Powerwall, on the other hand, begins at $5,500, and most homes that buy into its potential will have to buy even more, plus the cost of installation and other solar mechanisms to facilitate its function. Even then, a Powerwall powers a home for just seven days – and that’s with the attached solar panels or tiles – and that’s without the toll of a central air unit being utilized.
It’s been estimated that installation of the range of inter-linked Tesla products could cost the average homeowner $50,000. This is the same high price that has been tied to an overall decline in solar installations, with Musk’s strategy being pointed to by many as the culprit. Hopefully, Elon is tasking his best salespeople for the kiosks, because even the Home Depot co-sign will not alone be enough for the average shopper to shell out that kind of dough.