A recent article from CNBC shows us an important struggle Tesla is going through. When they don’t have enough battery cells, Tesla prioritizes vehicles over stationary storage, mostly because the vehicle business is more profitable. When batteries become more widely available, like they’re starting to, then they try to do both businesses more.
While the report is mostly about Tesla, it does give us a broad variety of insight into the general state of the different industries that are starting to use large volumes of battery cells.
Getting into building EVs is a much bigger challenge than starting a local solar install business, and thus the competition in both spaces is very different. When buying a solar system, many customers are purchasing power by the kWh, and are more able to shop around looking for different installers.
Because of all this, battery systems and rooftop solar can’t be sold for as much.
On the other hand, innovation is a key factor. When everyone is offering basically the same product (sun collects energy, lights inside the house come on at the right times), there’s no advantage to choose one over the other except on price. When a company comes up with unique or better technology, they’re able to command a premium.
The big question is whether products like Tesla’s solar roof, and better prices on battery packs due to volume production with cars, will lead to a better situation.
There’s a whole lot more information in the article if you’re willing to dig to the bottom, so be sure to check out the whole thing!