Elon Musk, a man on a mission to redefine the paradigm of transportation on earth and in outer space, may have just about the best name recognition of any corporate executive today. He and his company, Tesla Motors, where he serves as CEO and Chairman is involved in pushing the envelope on everything from space travel and colonization of Mars to solar energy and artificial intelligence. Musk’s eclectic mix of visioning and strategic pursuit is good news for global efforts to neutralize the impact of climate change through the use of sophisticated and easily deployable green technologies. Musk’s most recent announcement is the Tesla solar roof.
In a series of Tweets, Elon Musk announced that orders for Tesla’s revolutionary solar roof hardware is ready to hit the marketplace. The solar roof tiles will be available around the world, with deliveries anticipated in the US by the end of 2017 and to international markets in early 2018. And, on top of everything Musk promises an “infinity warranty.” Infinity—a warranty that lasts forever. Now this is definitely good news for everyone ready to make an investment in green technology, but not able to afford continuous upgrades and repairs. According the company’s site, the “glass tiles are so durable they are warrantied for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.” If so, then the solar tile roof will definitely be cheaper than a conventional roof which has to be repaired and replaced over time.
Tesla’s initial solar tiles will cost approximately $21.85 per square foot, which is great news because an earlier Consumer Reports article had predicted a price of $24.50 per square foot, making it much less competitive against traditional roofing tiles. The initial style offerings will be a smooth and textured black glass and a curved and reddish, Tuscan style, meant to mimic slate. The tiles will be constructed of three layers of solar capturing material, meant to maximize the amount of capture. The top layer will be made of tempered glass, inside is a “highly efficient” solar cell and the bottom layer is a specially designed film, which will make the tiles invisible from the ground. Much effort has been spent to design the tiles so they are transparent from above, allowing maximum amount of solar energy to enter, yet opaque from below or when walking to the side of the house, so that the panels blend in, maintaining the aesthetic integrity of the home.
According to Consumer Reports the total price tag for installing the new Tesla solar panel roof would be around $73,500, including the costs of installation. Tesla suggests the solar tiles will generate enough electricity to power your house. Some studies will have to be conducted once the solar tiles are actually in use, but if this proves to be true, it will be good news for consumers and the environment. Before purchasing, Tesla provides customers with a solar roof calculator to determine if their investment is going to reap a good return.
Initial sales will be conducted only online, with plans to introduce to bricks and mortar retailers later. Much depends upon consumer reaction, but it is already good news.