The first three quarters of 2018 show that Sunrun’s residential solar panel sales have outpaced SolarCity’s residential solar panel sales, according to data from analysis firm Wood Mackenzie. Though Tesla, the owner of SolarCity, has been losing ground in the solar panel market-share game for years now, Sunrun’s new upset shows just how far Tesla has pulled SolarCity back.
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This appears to be at least partially by Tesla’s design: the company has repeatedly moved to scale back its solar panel business, ending door-to-door sales, closing a number of locations, and ending affiliate sales at establishments like Home Depot. As a result, SolarCity has gone from cornering 33.5 percent of the US’ residential solar panel market share to holding on to just 9.1 percent of the same market, according to Wood Mackenzie’s numbers.
This may be fine with Tesla. The company recently discounted its solar panels, and, in a recent interview with Bloomberg, Tesla Senior Vice President of Energy Sanjay Shah said that cutting marketing reduced the cost of Tesla’s systems by 10 to 15 percent.