Tesla has been preparing to temporarily halt some aspects of R&D in their renewable energy subsidiary, SolarCity, by putting tarps over the panels of their test homes in Fremont, California. The newest version of the company’s roof tiles, now called SolarGlass, is being covered for privacy as well as protection from winter weather during the next two months. Elon Musk, who acquired the company in 2016 amid controversy, said that their solar tiles were a “very difficult product” to optimize and prepare for market.
In June 2019, Version 3 SolarGlass tiles were still not considered a viable consumer product - however, these issues have since been circumvented and the panels have been sold out of the company’s Buffalo warehouse starting in October. The importance of maintaining the prototypes in this area is not lost on Musk, due to recent legislation that all new housing built in California starting in 2020 must have solar panels installed.