Tesla Solar Roof Tiles Available for Pre-Order

Posted May 14, 2017

The company launched a website that allows homeowners to estimate costs and reserve roofs.

Solar Roof will be available in a variety of designs, including Smooth and Textured (available this year) and Tuscan and Slate (available early 2018). As for the final price, Tesla Solar has created a cost calculator (powered by Google's Project Sunroof) that will give you a ballpark estimate specific to your needs.

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Also the solar shingles are much more durable than traditional shingles, and Tesla is raising some eyebrows with its lifetime warranty. "The pricing is better than I expected, better than everyone expected", said Hugh Bromley, a solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Italian start-up Dyaqua, inspired to bring the historic retrofit industry into the 21st century, has ramped up manufacturing on its so-called "Invisible Solar" photovoltaic roof tiles that are indistinguishable from traditional terra cotta, wood or stone roofing.

Tesla has begun taking orders for its Solar Roof, with customers needing to drop $1,000 to join the bottom of the waiting list.

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But that would include another pillar of Tesla's growing energy portfolio - the home battery storage device called the Powerwall. The active tiles have three main layers, with a base solar cell beneath a colored louver film that's covered by tempered glass. After that, you can also charge your electric vehicle. It's offering to change your roof tiles to solar panels. The difference in upfront cost is still quite large, leaving it out of reach for those without high incomes, but over time Tesla's energy package is more cost-effective. CTO JB Straubel said that they used their experience of manufacturing connectors in their electric cars while building these solar roof tiles.

"Solar power going to a stationary battery pack so you have power at night, and then charging an electric vehicle ... you can scale that to all the world's demand", he said.

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If aesthetics is the reason you've been holding off on converting your home to solar power, 2017 just might be the year for you to take the renewables leap. Installations will begin in June, the company says. According to him, it is a new beginning for our future.