A report from Reuters claims that Tesla’s solar roof tiles are not hitting the high standards that were originally promised by company CEO Elon Musk.
It appears that at least one type of the solar tiles is in working order, but the rest are not living up to the company’s design requirements. When Musk first announced the solar roof project, the goal was to build tiles that looked like regular roofing tiles. Apparently, that is easier said than done.
Eight current and former employees of Tesla and Panasonic — the partners who are building the tiles — have all acknowledged that a host of issues are starting to pop up.
Some of the production hold ups have forced Panasonic to seek new buyers for the components it had planned to sell to Tesla. These same issues have also caused some New York state officials to question whether the company is going to be able to deliver on its investment goals and employment promises.
When the solar factory opened in Buffalo, Tesla made a deal with the state of New York that it would invest $5 billion USD into the state over 10 years and it would employ 1,460 people within two years of when the plants gets completed. In exchange for this, the government invested $750 million USD into the factory.
This deal went through, but it seems like the state is starting to doubt the company’s ability to follow through, according to sources interviewed by Reuters.
A New York assemblyman named Ray Walter said to Reuters that he was concerned with how little of the factory was actually being used when he toured it in March.
The company confirmed to Reuters that it’s trying to improve its production process for now, with plans to ramp up near the end of 2018.
The Tesla sources that Reuters spoke with said that current output was low and often interrupted. Another source said that Musk has never even been to the factory.
It’s too early to call this snag another Model 3-level problem, but things aren’t going to be looking good for the company if it can’t meet its end of the deal with New York. If Tesla fails to uphold its promise to the state, the company could end up owing as much as $41.2 million in fees.