Tesla founder Elon Musk reveals new details about the company’s Solar Roof tiles.
WHETHER he’s reinventing the rocket, revolutionising electric cars, or trying to solve traffic congestion, Elon Musk is relentlessly driving innovation.
Overnight the billionaire entrepreneur and Tesla CEO released the latest details about Solar Roof, the company’s solar energy capturing roof tiles — and it was met with some genuine excitement.
The tiles are cheaper than expected and come with an infinite tile warranty, meaning they are guaranteed to last for “the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.”
Tesla first unveiled the tiles in October but in a Tweet overnight, Musk announced the company would begin taking orders and was starting production on two of the four tile designs it unveiled: a smooth glass tile and a textured glass tile.
Australian customers will have to wait until next year for deliveries to ship Down Under but can place a “fully refundable” $1,310 deposit on orders on Tesla’s Solar Roof website.
Solar roof can be ordered for almost any country. Deployment this year in the US and overseas next year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2017
Initially, there was plenty of scepticism about the potential uptake of the product over questions about prohibitive costs, but much of the positive reaction to new details has been to do with the price point.
“The typical homeowner can expect to pay $US21.85 ($A29.70) per square foot for Solar Roof, and benefit from a beautiful new roof that also increases the value of their home,” the company said in a blog post.
So if you have a roof which is 100 square metres (1076.39 square feet), kitting your roof out with Tesla’s tiles will cost about $A32,000 plus the cost of a battery backup system.
That price is based on an estimate. Tesla are offering ‘active’ and ‘non active’ tiles which don’t generate solar power and cost about a quarter of the price. The Tesla boss expects that most people will opt for around 40 per cent ‘active’ tiles, which will provide enough power for a typical household.
While it may seem very competitive, considering normal terracotta roof tiles in Australia cost around $A10,000 for 100sq m, Tesla’s pricing here has not yet been announced. A Tesla spokesman told news.com.au that pricing should not be transferred on the same expectation for the Australian market.
“The pricing is better than I expected, better than everyone expected,” Hugh Bromley, a solar analyst who had reportedly been sceptical about the product, told Bloomberg.
With the money saved on energy expenses and the superior energy generation the tiles provide over regular solar panels, in the long run Tesla claims the tiles will be the most cost effective material for customers in the US to build their roof.
Australia has one of the highest rates of solar roof panel installations per capita in the world and no doubt many consumers will be excited by the design and impressive aesthetic offered by Tesla’s Solar Roof.
Another selling point the company is spruiking is the durability of the tiles. In the gif below, Tesla’s tile can be seen alongside regular roofing materials as they are purportedly hit with a five-centimeter hailstone travelling at approximately 177km/h.
Elon Musk shared a video of the experiment on Instagram this morning.
“Solar energy has always been part of our master plan, and we recognised the need for a roof that is simultaneously affordable, durable, beautiful and integrated with battery storage,” Tesla said.