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article imageTesla to sell solar panels through Home Depot locations

By Karen Graham     Feb 2, 2018 in Business
Tesla is about to find out how much the average consumer is interested in solar power. Tesla, best known for its electric cars, is beginning to roll out Tesla-branded selling spaces at 800 Home Depot locations across the country.
Not only does Elon Musk want to make Tesla's solar products more visible to customers, but the move is a critical test of the mainstream appeal of its renewable-energy products, the company confirmed to Bloomberg News.
Tesla will be installing Tesla-branded 12-by-7-foot selling spaces in the selected locations during the first half of this year, with the company's own employees on hand to explain the benefits of the photovoltaic panels and Powerwall batteries on hand. Some locations will also be able to demonstrate the products.
File photo: Solar PV panel and system installation.
File photo: Solar PV panel and system installation.
Tesla has already rolled out the selling spaces at Home Depots in Southern California and more rollouts will be added in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Orlando, Florida, next week. According to Engadget, sources are saying Tesla might also bring out the much-anticipated solar roof, which generates electricity but looks and costs like a regular (high-end) roof.
Building a customer base
Home Depot had a previous relationship with SolarCity Corp., the company Tesla acquired in 2016. That brand has been retired, but at the time, there were SolarCity salespeople in some stores trying to generate customer leads. But without a product on display, it didn't go over.
This time, working with Home Depot, one of the largest retailers in the world, with more than 2,200 stores, will be a lot different, especially with the product up close and personal for consumers to see. Several other companies have tried and failed to do what Tesla is attempting.
The Home Depot store in Markham  Ontario  Canada.
The Home Depot store in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine
Ikea attracted mainstream interest to solar power in Europe, thanks to its name and broad distribution network. But Ikea never brought its services to North America. But Tesla has a lot in their favor, to begin with - Like a well-known brand and a highly visible spokesman in Musk.
So having a spot in Home Depot locations will not only draw a lot of customers to Tesla's solar products but to Home Depot stores as well. Lowe's, the second-largest U.S. home-improvement chain, behind Home Depot also wants some of the action and is in talks with Tesla about selling its solar products, said people familiar with the situation.
The cost of solar panels
The real test for Tesla will be how many new customers they can generate with having a presence in the Home Depot locations. The cost of a solar panel system can range from $7,000 to as much as $25,000 - with an additional $7,000 for the PowerWall battery, according to the Tesla website.
Our solar panels blend into your roof with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware....
Our solar panels blend into your roof with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware. The result is a clean, streamlined look: says Tesla.
Tesla’s Solar Roof, which is just now hitting the market, is about $52,000 for an average home. The Solar Roof was first brought to the public's attention in October 2016, when Elon Musk stood on the Universal Studios set of Desperate Housewives and revealed to a crowd that the roof tiles on the “Wisteria Lane” houses were actually solar panels, reports Gizmodo.
As most of us know, with the Trump administration tariffs placed on solar products imported into the U.S., prices are expected to rise about 5.0 percent. But Tesla plans to manufacture its panels within the US, which will make them exempt from the tariff. But there is still the cost of installation to consider.
More about Tesla, Home depot, powerwall battery, PV panels, financially viable
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