Electric car wunderkind Tesla is enduring a run of bad news lately, whiffing badly on production targets, delaying the reveal of its battery-powered semi truck and currently facing a class-action lawsuit over charging customers for autonomous driving features that don’t yet exist. But here’s a bit of news to win over even the most hardened of Tesla cynics.
CEO Elon Musk took to Instagram Wednesday to highlight Tesla’s role in restoring electricity at Hospital del Nino in San Juan, saying it was “the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico.” Tesla has been aiding recovery efforts on the storm-battered island, which was hit by Hurricane Maria in September, leaving a trail of destruction and triggering what new research suggests is the biggest power blackout in U.S. history. Electricity service as of Thursday morning on the U.S. island territory stood at just 26 percent.
Musk approached Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello earlier this month about using Tesla’s Powerwall batteries and solar panels to help restore electricity. His Instagram post shows images of solar arrays in the parking lot of the children’s hospital, battery units and Tesla employees. It’s also worth remembering that CEO Elon Musk has said the semi truck project was pushed back to Nov. 16 so the automaker can iron out its production issues and ramp up battery production for Puerto Rico.