Tesla is taking the first orders—and US$1,000 deposits—for its solar roofing system, designed to be one leg in visionary CEO Elon Musk’s triad of technologies for transforming Americans’ energy use.
The first solar roofing tiles—in two of four styles unveiled last fall—will be delivered this summer, at a price that won raves from Bloomberg.
“The pricing is better than I expected, better than everyone expected,” said Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Hugh Bromley. For a typical 2,000-square-foot home in New York State, “solar tiles and battery backup for night-time use would cost about $50,000 after federal tax credits,” the news agency reports, basing its figures on Tesla’s website cost calculator. That is less, Bloomberg estimates, than the combined cost of a typical shingle roof with solar panels and battery back-up. Tesla’s shingles would also “generate $64,000 in energy over 30 years,” and are warrantied for the lifetime of the home.
Bringing the solar roof to market represents “the grand unification of Tesla’s clean energy ambitions,” Bloomberg writes, “combining solar power, batteries, and electric cars,” and will perhaps begin to justify the startup’s stratospheric market capitalization as America’s most valuable automaker.
“These are really the three legs of the stool for a sustainable energy future,” Musk has said. “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.”
Starting, perhaps with Fremont, California, where Tesla’s headquarters is located. Early this month, the city passed an ordinance that will require all new houses and multi-family dwellings to come with solar panels installed—with coverage scaled to the size of the structure—and pre-wired for electric vehicle charging, the East Bay Times reports.