Tesla’s solar products tend to make huge splashes online, but soon they’ll also get some big-box presence. Tesla has announced that it will be rolling out its solar products—including its solar panels, Powerwall home batteries, and potentially solar roof tiles down the line—at 800 Home Depot stores across the U.S. Each store will have a special 12-by-7-foot kiosk staffed by Tesla reps providing information, product demos, and purchase options.
Tesla had originally promoted the solar products in its showrooms—which were designed to appeal to luxury car-buyers, not solar-panel-hunting homeowners. But sales did not meet projections, and Tesla’s purchase of SolarCity was actually linked to a sharp decline in residential solar installations in 2017. Selling the systems at Home Depot stores has the advantage of reaching more people without going door to door like SolarCity’s sales model.
The products aren’t cheap. On average, solar panel installations cost between $10,000 to $30,000—and that was before the Trump administration announced a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. Tesla makes its panels domestically, but according to cost estimates by Consumer Reports, a 3,000-square-foot Tesla solar roof will cost a cool $73,500 anyway.
Maybe more shoppers will decide to just DIY their own Powerwalls?