Tesla starts taking orders for solar roofs

Tesla starts taking orders for solar roofs”

Tesla acquired SolarCity in November, and has been working to remake a money-losing company that was selling traditional solar systems into a premium energy brand.

Tesla has started accepting online orders for its solar roof tiles as it sets sites on ddelivering the first U.S. home installations of the flagship technology this summer.

Tesla opened up its online store and began taking $US1,000 ($1.356) deposits for two of four options unveiled in October: a smooth black glass and textured-glass roof tiles. Installations outside the US will begin next year, the company said.

While homeowners may be eager to embrace solar energy, it is important to understand that many people will not be able to cover their entire roofs in solar tiles. The roof would be eligible for a $15,500 federal tax credit and would generate an estimated $62,100 in electricity over 30 years. 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. He adds that Tesla's solar roofs can be installed in "almost any country". To this day, other companies have had little market success with efforts to incorporate solar technology directly into roofing tiles.

The move is part of Tesla's long-term goal of offering solar panels to its customers.

Last year, it debuted its solar tile concept - which basically would replace a regular shingled roof with hundreds of glass tiles created to soak up the sun's rays and convert them into usable energy.

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The electric vehicle maker set its solar roof website live Wednesday, allowing consumers to order two of its four solar roof shingle options.

But the solar roof won't be the only product made at the Buffalo factory, which also will make conventional solar panels. They're not like your run-of-the-mill solar panels: they're more pleasant-looking and they're integrated into the structure and aesthetics of your own home. Tesla's solar roof, to be sure, is still for the well-to-do.

It said that a US$1,000 refundable deposit is required to place an order, and the group will offer financing options for United States solar roof installation by the end of the year. But eventually all production will move to a joint Tesla and Panasonic Corp. factory in Buffalo, New York.

The roof looks like pretty ordinary, from all angles. Panasonic makes the photovoltaic cells used in the solar tiles.

"A 30 per cent premium could well be acceptable", Bromley said, especially for eager customers like Tesla's car-buyers who are willing to pay $US35,000 for a base version of its upcoming Model 3. The company estimates that each installation will take about a week.

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