Enlarge / Tesla is starting pre-orders on smooth and textured black glass solar roofs.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Wednesday that the company’s solar roof panels would be available for pre-order that afternoon. In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Tesla and SolarCity executives said the roof would be cheaper, on the whole, than installing a regular tile roof (although not cheaper than an asphalt roof). Pre-orders require a $1, 000 payment to secure a place on the list.
Tesla also rolled out a calculator on its website using data from Google Sunroof, a 2015 project from the search giant that used 3D modeling to map out every house’s potential for solar panel output. Tesla’s calculator factors in the cost of a 14kWh Powerwall, although purchase of a Powerwall is not required to get a solar roof, as well as any tax incentives that a customer might receive in their state. The "energy value" number featured most prominently is calculated over 30 years, which is the length of the warranty covering power production from the tiles. (Tesla is offering an "infinity warranty" on the tiles themselves.)
- There are still a few wrinkles to iron out in the solar roof calculator. This is an estimate for a townhouse in Colorado, but the cost and the savings seemed high.
- Luckily you can adjust roof square footage to come more in line with reality.