With wildfires blazing through portions of California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has knocked $1,000 off the price of Solar+Powerwall prices as of today in an effort to provide some assistance to homeowners affected by the power outages resulting from the ongoing fires.
Musk took to Twitter just hours after many residents of Los Angeles were required to evacuate their homes because of wildfires threatening the region. The Tesla CEO tweeted out numerous updates on the advantages of Tesla solar, like its ability to prevent power blackouts in the event of natural disasters. Musk also offered a $1,000 discount to customers in California who are directly affected by the ongoing wildfires.
The price reduction for its Solar+Powerwall package stands as another gesture from the electric car maker and its CEO. Musk has always maintained that Tesla’s purpose is not simply to make money. Rather, it is determined to accelerate the world’s adoption of sustainable solutions. Electric cars are one thing, but having homes switch to solar power with a battery-based backup is also a key pillar for this vision.
The value of a solar system and home battery unit is emphasized during times of power outages, such as those affecting parts of CA today. Due to the ongoing fires, particularly the Getty and Kincade Fires, portions of the state have been cut off from power. As noted by a recent CNN report, over a million residents across California currently face multiple days without power. It is these homeowners that stand as potential customers for Tesla’s Solar+Powerwall solutions.
Tesla started pushing its Energy business more this third quarter as the company hit its stride in its Model 3 production, and it showed in the company’s Q3 2019 results. Kunal Girotra, Tesla’s Senior Director, Energy Operations, described this rise in the third-quarter earnings call. “Our solar deployments rose by almost 50% over last quarter, and our energy storage deployments, which include Powerwalls and Powerpacks, grew by 15% to an all-time high of 477 megawatt hours,” he said.
These improvements came partly as a result of Tesla revamping his residential solar business, launching an affordable rental system that could cost homeowners as low as $50 a month. The company also took the wraps off its new solar solutions for businesses. These updates were accompanied by transparent pricing that gave customers clear expectations about their solar systems.
That being said, Elon Musk has admitted that Tesla does not really turn much of a profit on Solar+Powerwall installations or orders, adding that the $1,000 price reduction is significant. Musk has offered discounts in the past on Tesla’s solar products, including a nationwide price reduction after Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced mandatory power shutoffs in order to prevent wildfires in Northern California.
The fires in Los Angeles are very reminiscent of last year’s wildfires in the same region. The blazes in 2018 were the worst fires ever recorded in California’s history, destroying over 1.89 million acres of land, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.