Tesla modifies roll-out of glass solar-powered roof tiles… plus more details!

Business Insider’s Danielle Muoio on Friday provided the following update regarding Tesla’s ambitious and potentially disruptive photovoltaic glass roof tiles:

CEO Elon Musk tweeted in March that the company would begin taking orders for its four solar roof shingle options this month. But during a TED Talk Friday, Musk said that two of the tile options won’t be available for purchase until early 2018.

“Yeah we are starting off with two initially and then the second two will be introduced early next year,” he said.

A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment further on Musk’s comments and why the roll-out strategy had changed. Customers will be able to order two of the four shingle options in a few weeks.

Here are some additional facts involving the solar energy producing roofing components that Ms. Muoio reported over the weekend:

  • Tesla will offer four types of shingles to match different housing aesthetics in an effort to get homeowners to ditch clunky solar panel add-ons in favor of a beautiful roof.
  • Musk has been emphasizing the importance of competing on an aesthetic level when it comes to the new solar product offering.
  • Musk seemed most excited about Tesla’s French slate tile offering, saying the style is “one of the hardest things to do.”
  • Musk said the solar roof could cost less than an actual roof, but still hasn’t given specific pricing information. However, Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s former CEO, said in November that “we think we can get to that price point of 40 cents a Watt over time in large scale” for the solar cells, which would put it in line with the competition.
  • Rive said on the call that the solar roof would most likely not fall under a lease or power purchase agreement, but instead as a straightforward loan. “In that case, there is no asset ownership challenge. We would just transfer the ownership to the new homeowner,” he said.


Image courtesy Tesla