Solar panels attached to traditional roofing materials may not look appealing to the eye, but they have been – until now – the choice for those who want to use the sun to power their home. Tesla offers to do much of the same thing – and more – but in a more attractive package. With the solar roof product, the company has the final piece in place to achieve the goal of becoming a sun to a vehicle energy company.
Recently, Tesla has completed the first installations of their solar roof product. The homes of Tesla employees will serve as a testing bed for the product. The decision to do so is for reward and for strategic purposes. Solar roof installation on the home’s of employees serve as a thank you for the hard work performed to bring the product to market. It’s also a strategic move to closely monitor the product.
The solar roof material looks just like any of the common roofing materials: terra cotta, clay, asphalt, and slate. What makes the Tesla creation different is the presence of a solar cell that receives light from the sun which then powers the home and vehicle. With the product, the roof of homes will not only look aesthetically pleasing but also harness the sun’s energy for power.
There will be four options available for Tesla’s solar roof product, with two going into production in October. The company has opened up their online store to receive $1,000 deposits for the smooth black glass and textured-glass roof tile options. Tesla is also accepting orders from different countries for 2018.
Tesla’s solar roof product looks like a highly viable option for those wishing to switch to clean energy. But the overall cost of the product will still be a critical factor in determining if it’s a product only the wealthy could afford or an actual solution for the residential solar market, which has been experiencing a decline in the US.
The Cost of Tesla’s Solar Roof
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla, unveiled pricing details and it was lower than what analysts expected. Musk revealed that installing the company’s solar roof product would cost $42 per square foot, an amount that is lower than attaching solar panels to traditional roofs.
Overall solar roof installation, however, would cost much higher because more tiles are needed. For instance, owners of a 2,000 square-foot property opting to have 40% active solar tiles would end up paying $50,000 after federal tax credits.
Despite that, it may still be the best option when taking energy savings and lifetime cost of ownership into account. Tesla guarantees their product is tough as steel and can withstand a lifetime of abuse from the elements. Residents living in colder climates can also have heating elements fitted into the tiles to melt off snow.
Musk envisions a future where rooftops not only look beautiful but also produce electricity. This may very well be achievable if pricing lowers a bit more – a scenario that is growing more likely given the continued drop in battery and solar cell prices.