Tesla reveals pricing for solar roof as order books open

Elon Musk

Late a year ago, Tesla acquired SolarCity, with about 85 percent of shareholders voting to go through with the deal that made them the undisputed kings of sun-to-vehicle energy.

The company recently announced it's taking orders for a new solar energy project.

The price per square foot varies with the proportion of solar and non-solar tiles - Tesla says active tiles will cost $42 per square foot while inert tiles will be around $11 per square foot. If you recall news of these tiles was released back in October, and not is available to order for future shipment. US orders will be delivered and installed later this year, though pricing remains unknown. Simply enter your address, and you'll get an estimate unique to your home, complete with the value of energy your roof will generate, the cost of the roof, the cost of the Powerwall battery (or batteries, if your home needs more), and the amount of the tax credit.

Through its acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla has now access to thousands of installers, but there are significant differences between installing solar panels and a whole roof. Musk proves this with a video of a cannonball hitting Tesla's solar roof, then hitting traditional roof tiles.

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Beyond that, a Solar Roof homeowner can sign on for Musk's vision. To this day, other companies have had little market success with efforts to incorporate solar technology directly into roofing tiles. Originally expected to be at full production by early this year, the South Buffalo factory has been delayed by SolarCity's deteriorating finances, which led to its acquisition last year by Tesla.

The roof looks like pretty ordinary, from all angles.

Tyler Ogden, solar analyst with Lux Research, said the roof tile options could be attractive for customers who may have shied away from traditional solar panels' decidedly unaesthetic appearance. But with the costs of solar panels coming down, maybe improving their look is just what we need to kickstart the transition away from fossil fuel home power. But, if everything goes according to (the master) plan, 2017 could be the year in which Tesla began upending not one, but two massive energy sectors - transportation and electricity.

Tesla's high-end roofing materials include mimicked fancy terracotta and slate roofing tiles, which are made of textured glass. Panasonic makes the photovoltaic cells used in the solar tiles.

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