Tesla recently announced pricing for their new solar roof product, a roof replacement for your home. The new solution requires that you replace your existing roof with Tesla’s blend of non-solar glass tiles and solar-enabled glass tiles. It is an elegant new product, designed with great aesthetics. But the question is ultimately does installing this new roof make financial sense for your home? After initial analysis, we’ve found that for the majority of homeowners the answer is currently “no”. Just as Tesla’s luxury sports cars are out of reach for most drivers today, Tesla’s new solar roof is simply too expensive for most American homeowners to justify spending their money on.
If you’ve found it difficult to stay up to date on the future of Tesla Motors and SolarCity in recent weeks, you are not alone. Numerous industries (solar, electric vehicles, and ridesharing, to name a few) worldwide are starting to feel the impact of a merger that could significantly alter growth plans for manufacturers and executives across the globe. Now the concept of an integrated solar glass shingle – the Tesla solar tile – is on everyone’s mind.
We had already heard about Tesla’s plans for total clean energy integration – a one step carbon reduction process that involves pairing solar panels with your Tesla electric vehicle. Now for the latest: thanks to a surprise appearance of Chairman Elon Musk in SolarCity’s 2nd quarter earnings call that lead to a highly anticipated Tesla solar roofing product launch at the end of October, we’ve now seen the future of PV roofing and the future of Tesla. One thing is certain: building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are going to be a part of Tesla Motors – or should we say Tesla Energy’s – future.
*Update – Tesla has begun taking orders for their Tesla solar glass roof as of May, 2017. Timeline information offered on Tesla’s websites suggests that installations will begin in June on the west coast starting in California. Tesla’s roof installations will be administered by SolarCity, it’s newest asset. It is unclear when the roof product will be available nationwide though some estimates suggest it will be mid 2018. Tesla has also revealed a standard solar panel product that it will begin producing in 2017 in addition to its solar roof – a black Panasonic solar panel with no mounting apparatus. Tesla has launched a calculator that provides estimates for its solar roof and has released the pricing information of $21.85 per square foot.