SunPower Vs. Tesla (Which model must you select?)

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The battles we’re presently seeing between photo voltaic tech giants reminiscent of SunPower vs. Tesla shall be extra widespread sooner or later.

Photo voltaic vitality has come a good distance since its humble beginnings in 1909. From feeble, expensive photo voltaic water heating methods, photo voltaic applied sciences have supplied notable breakthroughs in direction of decarbonizing grids and working area satellites.

It’s unsurprising to see massive organizations such because the U.N. and SEIA take big strides in direction of net-zero carbon methods and sustainability, with photo voltaic on the lifeless middle.

With all international locations setting bold local weather change targets, we are able to count on many corporations to jockey for the highest spots and take advantage of out of this demand surge.

It will culminate in close-knit competitors within the photo voltaic vitality market, which we’ll all profit from.


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SunPower Vs. Tesla

Let’s have a look at the SunPower vs. Tesla story of the tape:

(1 The time period ‘Rated Energy’ is the best photo voltaic panel output in fascinating circumstances. It’s expressed in watts.)

On the enterprise facet of issues, despite the fact that Tesla is a comparatively new participant within the photo voltaic business, they’re solely barely behind SunPower in vitality revenues ($1.6 billion vs. $1.8 billion in 2018). That is fairly a feat since SunPower is taken into account an “O.G.” within the photo voltaic vitality enterprise.

A deeper look into the funds exhibits that almost all of Tesla’s revenues come from:

  • Power Storage Enterprise (PowerWall)
  • Excessive Gross Margins

Getting To Know Tesla

Once you hear the phrase Tesla, you think about a fancy-schmancy automobile as a substitute of photo voltaic panels. It’s no secret that their recognition is deeply rooted of their electrical automobile enterprise.

The Tesla brand tends to be synonymous with EVs rather than solar panels.
The Tesla model tends to be synonymous with EVs fairly than photo voltaic panels.

Whereas lots of you may even see Tesla because the go-to photo voltaic model, a few of you should have blended opinions about their photo voltaic vitality merchandise.

By way of product choices, Tesla has two essential photo voltaic merchandise:

Tesla Photo voltaic Roof

Throughout its launch, Tesla marketed its photo voltaic roof tiles as an innovation over the standard rooftop.

Primarily based on our evaluation, Tesla photo voltaic roofs are higher than conventional rooftops since they mean you can earn your a refund over time. And the perfect half? They don’t even seem like photo voltaic panels (see determine under.)

Tesla Solar Roof Tiles Come in four (4) Designs depending on your preference — SunPower vs Tesla.
Tesla Photo voltaic Roof Tiles Are available 4 (4) Designs relying in your choice.
Supply: Tesla, Inc.

So, is a Tesla Photo voltaic Roof price it? In our opinion, going with photo voltaic panels is nonetheless the quickest strategy to get your a refund.

To not point out, Tesla just isn’t able to roll out photo voltaic roofs on a large scale.

Tesla Photo voltaic Panels

Regardless that Tesla’s photo voltaic panels are slapped with the Elon Musk seal of approval, Tesla does NOT manufacture its photo voltaic panels.

Panasonic was the preliminary provider of Tesla’s photo voltaic cells earlier than transferring to Hanwha. To be particular, they use the QPeak Duo Black photo voltaic panels, much like 300W photo voltaic panel performances. 

This third-party outsourcing would possibly elevate considerations for a few of you concerning high quality management.

Since Tesla photo voltaic panels are extra economical than Tesla photo voltaic roofs, we are going to use them as the purpose of comparability with SunPower’s photo voltaic panel for this Sunpower vs. Tesla article.

Getting To Know SunPower

Then again, SunPower is an organization devoted to growing and putting in photo voltaic vitality methods. This dedication to photo voltaic innovation interprets into impeccable merchandise that outperform its friends.

By way of photo voltaic panels, their major providing is the SunPower 415, which boasts 22.3% effectivity in comparison with a traditional panel on same-sized arrays (260 W, 16% environment friendly, approx. 1.6 m²).

SunPower additionally claims to have the very best D.C. energy output safety within the photo voltaic business, with 92% D.C. energy after 25 years of utilization.

SunPower Vs. Tesla — Consequence

Right here’s the underside line:

Sunpower is the winner By way of effectivity, rated energy degradation, and warranties. Nonetheless, Tesla photo voltaic panels have arguably higher visible attraction. To not point out, Tesla has been very aggressive in price-matching and low set up prices in recent times.

Comparing SunPower vs Tesla Solar Panels.
Evaluating SunPower vs. Tesla Photo voltaic Panels.
Supply: stellarsolar.web

Which Firm Produces Higher High quality?

You in all probability keep in mind from our dialog earlier that we’re extra impressed with the stat sheet of SunPower 415 Photo voltaic Panel than Tesla’s Hanhwa 315.

Though you may’t solely deny the aesthetic attract and the pleasure you derive from saying that your photo voltaic panel roof is by Tesla.

SunPower vs. Tesla – Which Firm Is Cheaper?

Let’s have a look at the worth factors.

In accordance with the NREL’s white paper report, SunPower’s residential photo voltaic panels price round $4.2 per watt.

That is fairly excessive contemplating that the median worth of residential photo voltaic within the U.S. is $2.75 per watt.

SunPower Residential Solar Systems cost around $4.2 per watt
SunPower Residential Photo voltaic Techniques price round $4.2 per watt
Supply: 2021 NREL white paper
As of 2020, the median gross cost of solar panels is $2.75 per watt.
As of 2020, the median gross price of photo voltaic panels is $2.75 per watt.
Supply: 2021 NREL white paper

Nonetheless, lately reported that Tesla has determined to develop into aggressive within the pricing enviornment. In accordance with Electrek, Tesla’s worth discount of their set up service will come from lowered set up prices and extra highly effective photo voltaic panel modules. This ends in a $2.44 per watt price earlier than FTCs (Federal Tax Credit).

As well as, Tesla has made the session / quoting course of extra seamless because of their handy photo voltaic panel calculator. SunPower continues to be holding its punches on this space. Of their opinion, speaking to a marketing consultant continues to be the way in which to go to get a free analysis.

Whereas SunPower just isn’t mistaken, the idea of empowering your potential purchasers does give Tesla the higher hand, a minimum of initially. To not point out this goes rather well with their price-matching technique.

The Climatebiz Perception

Taking a look at these figures, a 5kW photo voltaic panel system in the USA will price you round:

  • $4.2 per watt * 5,000 watts = $21,000 for SunPower
  • $2.44 per watt * 5,000 watts = $12,200 for Tesla

“Certainly this makes Tesla the winner?”

Maintain your horses! Do not forget that when it comes to effectivity, SunPower has the superior photo voltaic cells (22.3% effectivity vs. Tesla’s 18.7%)

Which means a SunPower 5kW photo voltaic panel system will produce 19.25% extra energy (22.3% divided by 18.7%) than the Tesla photo voltaic panel.

Subsequently, we are able to normalize the $21,000 worth of SunPower to make it corresponding to the Tesla pricing.

$21,000 divided by 1.1925 equals = $17,610

$17,610 divided by $4.2 equals = 4.193 kW

In abstract, a $17,610 SunPower system (4.193 kW) will produce the identical quantity of energy as a Tesla PV system price $12,200 (5kW). Nonetheless, whereas the photo voltaic cell effectivity of SunPower helps scale back the price of its complete system, Tesla nonetheless has the lower cost for a 5kW residential system.

Be aware: These methods will offset 78% of the electrical energy consumption of a house with a month-to-month invoice of $130-$150, relying on which state you might be in.

Which Firm Is Proper For You?

Right here’s an up to date abstract:

Up to date Abstract of Comparability
Specs SunPower Tesla
Value ($ per watt) $4.2 $2.44
System Dimension (Normalized with respect to effectivity) 4.193 kW 5kW
Whole Value (Normalized with respect to effectivity) $17,610 $12,200
Extra Issues (Pattern Case Examine: 5kW system)

Climatebiz Skilled Recommendation

If at this level you’re nonetheless undecided, contemplate the next:

Go together with Tesla in the event you:

  • Should not keen on spending hours with consultants and installers;
  • Should not a fan of going by electrical energy payments to get a exact sizing (an clever on-line estimate is ok);
  • Need a cheaper photo voltaic system at face worth;
  • Worth seems to be of photo voltaic panels on roofs (that is debatable although).

In a nutshell, Tesla consumers favor the comfort and don’t thoughts a broader photo voltaic system measurement estimate. The cheaper preliminary price and near-term financial savings (as much as 12 years) are interesting to you as nicely.

Although lagging behind performance and warranties, you can't deny the charm a Tesla Product brings to the table.
Though lagging behind efficiency and warranties, you may’t deny the appeal a Tesla Product brings to the desk.
Supply: Tesla, Inc.

Go together with SunPower in the event you’re:

  • Element-oriented and a fan of exhaustive approaches (go away no stone unturned!) like our prolonged deep dives on U.S. Photo voltaic Panel Installations;
  • A fan of a extra tailor-fitted strategy;
  • Worth good guarantee, established reputations and love the 92% output assure after 25 years.


SunPower is your greatest wager in the event you:

  • Worth larger photo voltaic panel manufacturing capability over 25 years (long-term financial savings).
  • Love a hands-on strategy (which incorporates help in licensing, allowing, HOA approvals, and all that regulatory stuff).
  • Benefit from the peace of thoughts that comes with warranties from an organization that has been within the sport lengthy sufficient.

Don’t Fully Ignore Photo voltaic Roofs

Whereas we agree that the Tesla photo voltaic roof price can not compete with conventional photo voltaic panels, we don’t wish to take away it out of your choices solely.

Tesla’s suppose tank positively had a goal market in thoughts when it created the Tesla Photo voltaic Roof idea. And provided that it’s a comparatively new and distinctive product, it’s essential so that you can be taught the whole lot you may about Tesla Photo voltaic Roofs earlier than deciding in the event that they’re best for you.

Remaining Ideas 

We’re assured you may make your individual determination primarily based on the knowledge we supplied you on this SunPower vs. Tesla dialogue.

Simply keep in mind; your photo voltaic system shall be in your roofs for 25+ years. Subsequently, the corporate you select will decide your renewable vitality expertise for the many years to come back.

Get pleasure from your financial savings whereas serving to mom earth!


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