In March, Tesla made promises with a new and revolutionary solar panel. Except, it isn’t a solar panel but rather a solar tile. It will replace the traditional tiles on your roof with ones that have solar cells in them. Called The Solar Roof, these tiles will be available in 4 different textures to match some of the most popular roofs and can generate the same amount of energy or more energy than conventional solar panels. These tiles are also supposed to be cheaper than a traditional roof and will also be more weather and break resistant because they are made of glass instead of traditional roof tile materials (Link to break tests). Yesterday, Tesla opened pre-orders for the first two textures, Smooth Glass and Textured Glass along with some rough price estimates. The next two textures, Slate Glass and Tuscan Glass, will be available for purchase starting 2018 summer. Given that you may have a 4000 square foot house with two floors and your address, which is information asked for, a price estimate of approximately $60,000 dollars is given to replace your roof. But ideally, only about 35% to 40% of the tiles will actually have a solar cell in them. They will be distributed evenly throughout the roof with the rest consisting of normal glass tiles.
This agenda has come as one that is being strongly pushed by Elon Musk with his very ultimate goal of saving humanity(I know. It sounds absurd.). But, this push also symbolizes how much Tesla has grown. With the acquisition of SolarCity and a push towards more solar, Tesla has shifted from an electric automobile company to a clean energy company also including it being officially renamed from Tesla Motors, Inc. to Tesla, Inc. A, what one could call an incentive, with the Solar Roof is the Tesla Powerwall. Earlier this year, Tesla also unveiled a new Powerwall 2.0 with a much slimmer and sleek design. The Powerwall will draw energy from solar panels or tiles during the day, store it and then use it to power a home at night. Tesla states that the Solar Roof will come with easy and quick integration with the Tesla Powerwall which comes as a bonus because many energy companies that install solar panels or tiles cannot support a Tesla Powerwall. Along with the new tiles will come competition against the Solar Panel Industry. One of the competitors against the Solar Roof is actually Tesla. I’m not joking. After Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, they unveiled a solar panel that is supposed to be much more efficient and cheaper than what is currently in the market.
Later this year, Tesla is starting deliveries for the Model 3. The question that comes up is, with money being spent towards bringing the Solar Roof to life and getting it to people’s homes, how much focus is being taken off the Model 3.