Tesla Solar Roof: Release Date, Cost And Everything You Need To Know

Posted: May 10 2017, 8:53am CDT | by , Updated: May 11 2017, 4:57am CDT, in News | Technology News

 

Tesla Solar Roof: Release Date, Cost and Everything You Need to Know
Credit: Tesla
 

Elon Musk surprised the world on Friday with the unveiling of the Solar Roof.

The Tesla Solar Roof is how a solar on roof should be - invisible. SolarCity and Tesla developed glass roof shingles that look like traditional roof shingles. A house with a Tesla Solar Roof does look like a traditional house. Elon Musk ends the era of ugly roof top solar panels. Not only does the Solar Roof look good it is also more durable than the roofs made with regular roofing material.

Tesla and Elon Musk held an event on October 28, 2016 unveiling the Solar roof in a street surrounded by houses that have the Tesla Solar roof installed. Nobody in the audience noticed it until Elon Musk could not hold it back and pointed it out. You can watch the Solar Roof unveil event in the video below this story.

There are many open questions about Tesla's Solar Roof. Find out what we know below.

When will be Solar Roof available?

On May 10, 2017, Elon Musk announced the launch of the Solar Roof Pre-order. Here are the full details on the Tesla Solar Roof purchase. It's cheaper than normal roofing. Solar roof can be ordered for almost any country. Deployment this year in the US and overseas next year.

Tesla plans a slow initial roll out beginning in 9 months. This would mean the first Solar Roofs will go on sale in July 2017. As with all Elon Musk's deadlines, they are a moving target. Tesla offers to sign-up on a waiting list (bottom of page), to become one of the first to get a Tesla Solar Roof.

How Much does a Solar Roof Cost?

Update Nov 18: Elon Musk said that the Tesla Solar roof will be cheaper than regular roofing. This is supposed to be true without taking the energy production into account. This is different to what Musk said at the launch event, and has a far reaching impact.

Elon Musk said in the Solar Roof event that the cost of a Solar roof is the same as a traditional roof plus the cost of electricity you save with the Solar roof. There are no concrete numbers yet. Roof prices vary widely, making it hard to predict where the Solar Roof prices will be. We expect that the Tesla Solar roof will range at the high-end. Given that the solar roof has a much longer durability, home owners will be more motivated to by a Solar Roof. This is on top of owning a roof that is saving the planet.

How Efficient is the Tesla Solar Roof?

The current Solar Roof prototypes have a loss of 2 percent compared to a regular solar cell. This loss is marginal compared to the gain of the esthetics and the ability to use the whole roof for solar cells. Elon Musk hopes that microscopic louvers responsible for making the tiles appear opaque can be used to in the future end up boosting the efficiency of standard photovoltaic cells according to a Bloomberg report.

What Style of Solar Roof will be available?

Elon Musk showed of Tuscan Glass Tiles, Slate Glass Tiles, Textured Glass Tiles and Smooth Glass Tiles. The solar tiles integrated into the roof are invisible when viewed from the street, yet are fully exposed to the sun from above.

How durable are Solar Roof tiles?

The glass material used in Solar Roof tiles is tough as steel said Elon Musk. The video below shows a shatter test between the Solar Roof tile and conventional roofing material. The Solar tile is by far more durable. The only concern I would have are scratches or that the material is getting foggy over time. Elon Musk said nothing about the scratch resistance of the solar roof tiles.

A Solar Roof Needs Powerwall 2

To store the energy generated by the Solar Roof, Tesla offers the Powerwall. The second generation Powerwall has been announced in September and has more than double the storage capacity and much lower price. Powerwall 2 can power a two-bedroom home for a full day. One 14 kWh Powerwall 2 battery sells for $5,500. The Installation and supporting hardware starts at $1,000. The total estimated cost is $6,500.  New orders of the Powerwall 2 will be installed starting in January 2017.

Solar Roof Competition

Elon Musk and SolarCity are not the first to come up with the idea of solar roof tiles. Dow Chemical introduced solar roof tiles in 2010. The Dow Power house shingles have been though discontinued in June of this year. Other solar shingles manufacturers include CertainTeed., SunTegra and Atlantis Energy Systems. These competing solutions do not have the esthetics advantage of Tesla's Solar Roof. The PV solar shingles look like regular solar panels, but can be used as roof tiles.

The Solar Roof will only be a reality if Tesla shareholders are actually letting Elon Musk do the $2.2 billion acquisition of SolarCity. His vision is that Tesla is selling electric cars, power storage and solar solutions like the Solar Roof.

The sun provides more than enough energy in just one hour to supply our planet’s energy needs for an entire year. Your home can capture this free, abundant energy source with a Tesla Solar Roof an the Tesla Powerwall.

 

Tesla's Solar roof pitch: "Residential solar panels convert solar energy into electricity for your home. Beautifully functional, solar integrates with Tesla home batteries to collect energy during the day for use in the evening once the sun goes down."

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com.

 

 

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