Tesla restarts its solar-panel business, offers rental plans

Tesla will let customers in some states rent solar panels instead of buying rooftop systems

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Tesla is trying to spark its solar-panel business by letting consumers rent rooftop systems rather than buy them.

The company will allow residents of six states to rent solar-power systems starting at $50 a month — or $65 a month in California — for a small set-up.

Musk says consumers can cancel anytime, although Tesla's website says there's a $1,500 charge to remove panels and restore the roof to its previous condition.

Besides California, rentals will be offered in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico.

Electric car maker Tesla bought residential solar installer SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016 but installations have plunged in recent quarters. Tesla stopped selling systems in Home Depot stores.