Elon Musk is suggesting that the new version of Tesla’s solar roof tiles will be even less expensive and it will roughly be the equivalent of the cost of a comp shingle roof and the electric utility bill, which the solar roof will slash through solar energy generation.
When Tesla launched its Solar Roof Tiles in 2017, the automaker said that they would start volume production and installation in 2018.
However, the rollout turned out to be much slower and installations have been limited to the homes of some executives and a few customers.
Tesla later delayed volume production to 2019.
CEO Elon Musk said that they had to make some changes to the product in order to make sure it will last for 30 years.
At Tesla’s 2019 shareholder’s meeting, Musk said that they are now completing a third version of the Tesla solar roof:
“We are about to complete version 3 of the solar roof. This is actually quite a hard technology problem to have an integrated solar cell with a roof tile, have it look good, and last for 30 years.”
The CEO explained that they had difficulties doing accelerated testing on the roof, but they now feel more confident.
With the third version, Musk appears confident that Tesla can lower the cost to an impressive level:
“I am very excited about version 3 of solar roof. We have a shot at being equal to a comp shingle roof plus someone’s utility cost or being lower than that. That’s one of the cheapest roofs available. So you can have a great roof with better economics than a normal fairly cheap roof and your utility bill.”
When launching the product, Tesla said that the “typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for a Solar Roof.”
It’s a fairly expensive product, but it comes with a lifetime of the house warranty and 30-year power generation guaranteed.
After the electricity production, Tesla estimated that its solar roof will be cheaper than a non-solar tile roof of a similar style or virtually pay for itself through electricity savings.
But that style was a tile roof style, which is much more expensive than a comp shingle roof – indicating that Tesla would have made cost improvements.
A shingle roof can cost as little as $4 per square foot while a tile roof can cost up to $20 per square foot.
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That would be a big development. The cost difference between a shingle roof and a tile roof is quite significant.
However, I would assume that it is dependent on other factors like the location since the economics of solar are widely different depending on the market.
installation time is also going to make a big difference.
When first launching the new product, Tesla said that it should take roughly the same time to install as a tile roof installation, which is typically 5-7 days.
Earlier this year, we reported that Tesla Solar Roof installation were still taking about 2 weeks.
Install time needs to go down in order to ramp up deployment.
If Tesla can figure this out and improve production cost, I’m sure they will have a killer product on their hand, but only time will tell right now.
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