- Elon Musk announced a new solar panel rental programme from Tesla on Sunday.
- Customers will be able to rent panels starting from $50 per month in six US states. Musk bigged up the offer saying it’s "like having a money printer on your roof."
- Tesla’s solar business has been lagging behind competitors.
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Tesla is relaunching its solar business with a panel rental programme, CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Sunday.
The rental scheme will be available in six states: California, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Mexico, according to AP.
Rental rates will start at $50 per month, with customers paying $65 in California. Musk added that the solar scheme will come to Europe next year.
"With the new lower Tesla pricing, it’s like having a money printer on your roof if you live a state with high electricity costs," Musk tweeted, claiming that customers could save roughly $500 a year on utility bills. He said that although buying the panels outright is better, "the rental option makes the economics obvious."
While Musk says the contract can be cancelled anytime, cancellation comes with a $1500 cancellation fee — equivalent to 30 months’ solar panel rental if you had the $50 contract. Tesla’s website says this fee is just to cover the costs of removal and the company makes no profit on it.
Tesla bought solar energy company SolarCity in 2016, but since then its chunk of the market has dwindled significantly, losing ground to rivals like SunRun. Tesla’s solar installations have been declining for the past three quarters and most recently stood at a record-low 29 megawatts in the second quarter of this year.
SolarCity was also hit with a lawsuit from three former employees last year alleging coworkers at the company had faked sales accounts to inflate their own bonuses along with the value of the company as a whole. The suit also alleges discrimination, harrassment, and inadequate pay. A Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider when the suit was filed that Tesla had investigated the allegations and found them to be untrue. The suit has since moved to private arbitration.
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