Tesla’s solar panel installations are already generating gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity. This is a lot faster than what they are getting free by subsidizing the energy needed to build the panels, and is the equivalent of having a solar panel installed on every home. The cost in terms of solar panels is not nearly as expensive and far less disruptive than the energy they take for granted on a typical day.
In other words, in general, solar power has always been cheap.
To compare, an average car costs between $30,000 to $50,000 with gasoline. The same can be said for solar panels — $12,000 to $20,000 per panel. The average Tesla is $65,000 and the equivalent Model 3 electric car will be $70,000. As of this writing, Tesla is selling the Model 3 for $35,000.
You’ll note that $35,000 is actually pretty steep for your typical family, but we’ll save that discussion for this post.
Tesla’s current net income in 2016 was $2.3 billion. The company does make cash on its balance sheet, but that means it has a lot of liabilities, including the $2.7 billion in loan payments it just made. If Tesla ever sells itself or is bought out, the entire $6 billion in equity will go out the door. It isn’t yet clear whether those liabilities are enough to offset all the cash it makes selling its vehicles.
That aside, Tesla made a lot less for every kWh of energy produced than it did three years ago.
In other words, on average, it costs the same dollar to make a Tesla than it did in 2012. That means we can assume it costs more for Tesla to produce energy today. In 2016, it cost more to produce every kWh of energy produced, while it cost less to produce electricity before the solar panels came online.
We’ll get into an even bigger picture in a little bit. But the bottom line is to assume that you can make energy cheaply using solar and electric cars. Let’s say the per kWh price of solar drops to somewhere around $0.08 a kilowatt-hour. If you have a solar panel installed on the roof of your home, that’s $4 a month per panel. The total monthly bill per household would be $40 a month. That’s what Tesla can actually take by offering the Energy Saver program.
How the program works
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