Tesla Begins Taking Orders For Its Solar Energy Roof Tile Systems

Tesla has started accepting online orders for its solar roof tiles as it sets sites on ddelivering the first U.S. home installations of the flagship technology this summer. This week, they got them.

Tesla's web site includes a calculator where potential buyers can estimate the cost of a solar roof based on the size of their home, the amount of sunlight their neighborhood receives and federal tax credits.

"The typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for Solar Roof, and benefit from a handsome new roof that also increases the value of their home", Tesla said in a statement. But homes would only need between 30 and 40 percent of their roof tiles to be solar; the rest would be Tesla's cheaper non-solar tiles which would blend in with the solar ones. The glass tiles were unveiled by Tesla last fall just before the company merged with solar panel maker SolarCity Corp.

While you can make the order only on the glass tiles (glossy and matte), a stylized clay and stone options will appear in 2017.

Pricing will vary depending on where you live (due to subsidies on offer) and the design of your house. "The aesthetics are that good", Musk said in a conference call with media.


The solar roofs are now available for pre-order at Tesla with deposits going for $1,000, Bloomberg reports.

"It's looking quite promising that a solar roof will actually cost less than a normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account", Musk said at the event.

Tesla acquired SolarCity in November, and has been working to remake a money-losing company that was selling traditional solar systems into a premium energy brand.

The price per square foot varies with the proportion of solar and non-solar tiles - Tesla says active tiles will cost $42 per square foot while inert tiles will be around $11 per square foot. He wants to combine the electric cars, home batteries and solar power with each other. He expects the initial ramp-up to be slow.

Tesla will manufacture the tiles at its solar factory in Buffalo, New York. These newfangled MIT-designed panels reflect back an image of the roof below while still letting light through to the photovoltaic cells within.


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