Despite facing a possible financial hit due to a 30 percent tariff being imposed by the Trump administration on imported solar system components, Tesla Inc. has affirmed that it remains undeterred in its aim to provide premium solar solutions to customers across the United States.
A Tesla spokesperson noted that the company will continue its expansion despite the administration’s stance on imported solar solutions.
“Tesla is committed to expanding its domestic manufacturing, including Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, regardless of the solar tariff decision.”
Despite manufacturing its Solar Roof product domestically, Tesla also relies on partner Panasonic to provide its solar cells, which are manufactured overseas and imported to the United States. However, developments taking place at Tesla’s solar factory in New York will soon change that.
Together with Panasonic, Tesla has begun production of solar cells in-house at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo. By manufacturing solar modules and photovoltaic cells at its New York-based facility, Tesla would largely be unaffected by the 30 percent tariff imposed by the US government.
In addition, the Trump administration has announced that the additional duties would take effect only after 2.5 gigawatts of foreign-produced solar products are imported into the country, as noted in a recent Reuters report. Considering that the United States as a whole imported 500 megawatts last year, the leeway granted by the US government could be utilized by Tesla to buy time for its efforts to ramp local production of its own solar cells.
Tesla has been hard at work in starting the mass-production of its Solar Roofs, a product the California-based electric car and energy company believes could be a game-changer in the mass-market renewable energy industry. After a successful debut more than a year ago, reservation holders that have waited patiently for their Solar Roof system are expected to see first installations begin in the coming months, according to a recent announcement by Tesla.
Tesla’s solar roof tile product is unique in the industry, in the way that each glass tile is embedded with energy-producing photovoltaic cells that are designed for both function and style. Developed in partnership with SolarCity, a firm that Tesla acquired, Solar Roof tiles look like conventional roof shingles like slate and terracotta. The tiles, which are made of tempered glass, are also incredibly durable, surviving impacts that would otherwise compromise materials that are conventionally used for roofs. Coupled with Tesla’s Powerpack home battery unit, the Solar Roofs are a valuable part of Elon Musk’s Master Plan, Part Deux.