Tesla opens pre-order for home solar tiles for most countries

Marco Green
May 20, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted early Wednesday that ordering would begin later in the day.

Tesla said it expects the product to be popular in locations beyond where its SolarCity subsidiary now operates, and plans to expand installation crews accordingly.

Musk noted on Twitter that the roof panels can be purchased in "almost any country", and deliveries would begin this year to United States purchasers.

In a follow up tweet, Musk said that solar roofs will start going out to customers in the U.S. later this year. Buying roofs through dealership can be way more harrowing than buying a vehicle. An idea that had so far been on paper, the solar roof tiles are now available on order.

For those who've crunched the numbers and are ready to go solar, a $1,000 deposit can be made to secure an order on Tesla's website. That's potential energy not being captured and not being used by your house, instead you buy expensive electricity from the grid.

Musk also took to Twitter to confirm the delivery and installation of the tiles. It also launched an online calculator so homeowners can understand the costs associated with a Solar Roof. It has gone through the same hail, fire and wind testing that normal roofs endure.

Tesla announced the solar roof panels, which are meant to be a sleeker and more attractive version of regular solar panels, at a Los Angeles event in October 2016.

A 1700-square-foot roof in Southern California, with half the roof covered in "active" solar tiles, would cost about US$34,300 after a federal tax credit, according to the calculator.

The clean energy company and electric vehicle maker will begin taking orders for solar roofs today. But it's worth noting that the guarantee for solar tile's ability to generate energy is less, at 30 years.

US Consumer Reports pegs the price of a Tesla solar roof at around $US21.85 per square foot.

In a flourish typical of Musk's style as a disruptive innovator, he said that he had wanted to extend the warranty into "infinity".

Musk said he expected initial sales of the roof to be slow.

"It will be very hard and it will take awhile", Musk said of the path ahead. So in other words, this will be economically a no-brainer, we think it will look great, and it will last. They will be manufactured at the company's Gigafactory 2, at Buffalo, New York.

Shares of Tesla on Wednesday edged 0.6 percent lower to $319.23 after adding 4.6 percent on Tuesday.

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