Tesla is reportedly making big changes to its energy unit as it tries to ramp up falling solar sales
- Tesla's solar energy management is being changed, Bloomberg News reports, with vice president Sanjay Shah stepping out of the limelight.
- The company's solar business has struggled in recent years, but a flurry of new announcements in recent months show that could soon change.
- Last year, Tesla fired many solar salespeople and erased any distinction between energy and vehicle sales.
Tesla is looking to ramp up its solar energy business after yet another quarter of declining sales, according to reports by Bloomberg and CNBC.
After the cable news channel reported Thursday that the company had obtained permits to test its solar roof products on top of its factory in Fremont, California, Bloomberg News reported Friday that the company was also shaking up the management ranks of the struggling unit.Sanjay Shah, vice president of energy operations, is setting back from any direct management of the solar generations and storage business, anonymous sources tell the outlet. Kunal Girotra, a product manager for Tesla's Powerwall product, is said to gain more oversight of the unit.
A Tesla spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
In its second quarter earnings report in late July, Tesla said it installed just 29 megawatts worth of energy products, it's lowest three-month period to-date. In the first quarter, Tesla installed 47 megawatts. In previous years, the company has topped 200 megawatts in a quarter.
To be sure, energy revenues ticked up in the second quarter, to $368 million, but remain below last year's levels.
Last year, when the company announced a sales shift for its vehicles away from brick-and-mortar stores, a move it later reversed course on, the company also shifted the way it sells both cars and home energy products. Salespeople who had previously focused on either product specifically, Business Insider reported at the time, now sold the whole "ecosystem. For solar salespeople, this also meant blurred lines between inside and outside sales, a traditional distinction in many organizations.announced this week a new "Megapack" battery that can store up to 3 megawatt-hours of electricity and convert up to 1.5 megawatts of energy from a direct current, or DC, to an alternating current, or AC, so homes can use it, Tesla said.
The company has previously used its industrial-size Powerpack batteries for large-scale projects but says the Megapack has 60% more energy density.
Shakeups in the energy unit's management add to a year that's been rife with executive changes for Tesla. Chief technology officer J.B. Straubel announced his resignation last week on the company's earnings call, becoming (at least) the 22nd senior employee to depart in the past year.
"Battery storage is transforming the global electric grid and is an increasingly important element of the world's transition to sustainable energy," Tesla said in a blog post on its website this week
More Tesla news:
- A Tesla employee died at the Gigafactory earlier this month - and the investigation is ongoing
- Tesla's biggest bear on Wall Street says the stock will plunge 80% this year and explains what the bulls are missing
- You think Tesla's second quarter was bad? Goldman Sachs sees a 'step down' next quarter - and keeps its outlook for a 40% plunge in the stock next year
Get the latest Tesla stock price here.
Spooling up production line rapidly. Hoping to manufacture ~1000 solar roofs/week by end of this year.- E (@elonmusk) July 30, 2019