Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in an unusual presentation Friday evening, put together a press event to discuss a new product that the Company will enable with SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY).
By the end of the presentation, details on cost, performance, or any other specifications were nowhere to be found – other than that the solar shingles look beautiful. Per the company, the product will not be available till next summer. With almost a year to go for purported availability and no specs to offer, why do the product unveil now?
Make no mistake. Solar Roof was a dog and pony show to sell Tesla’s merger with SolarCity to fans and investors.
In spite of the lack of details, what was disclosed was sufficient to conclude that this product is going nowhere.
Firstly, we need to point out that solar shingles is not a new concept. A Google image search will show many different solar shingles including some aesthetically pleasing options. However, none of these have been successful and many companies pitching these products have gone bankrupt.
While there are many reasons for the lack of success, the most important reasons are that the cost of these products was high and the performance was low. These products did not make any economic sense in spite of their supposed aesthetic advantages. We discuss later in this article why the solar roof solution has no practical merit.
Coming back to Tesla, just about the only thing that is going for the Solar Roof concept, and the only thing that Mr. Musk emphasized, is the look of the products (4 different varieties – see image below).