Elon Musk Unveils 'Affordable' Solar Panel Roof Tiles

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the V3 roofs are cheaper than installing a new set of roof tiles with solar panels on top.

30.10.2019 | by Christy Romer
Photo by Tesla
Photo by Tesla

After years of shaking up the electric car domestic spaceflight markets, Elon Musk has turned his attention to solar panels.

And in true Musk fashion, he’s doing so in a stylised—and enviably intuitive—manner: solar cells contained within roof tiles.

The Tesla CEO has announced that version three (V3) of his company’s sleek solar panel roof tiles are “ready for the big time” and set to be installed across the country. While less energy efficient than regular solar panels, the fact that they can be installed across the whole roof—and, therefore, cover a greater surface area—makes them a more effective energy generator.

“The solarglass roof is not going to make financial sense for somebody who has a relatively new roof, because this is itself a roof, that has integrated solar power generation,” Musk said, as quoted in TechCrunch. He instead stressed that the panels would instead cost less than an average roof with external solar panels.



Hypebeast says that the average price for installing solar panel tiles on a 2,000-square foot house would be $42,500. This falls to $33,950 when a US government tax incentive of $8,550 is included.

On its website, Tesla adds that the company would complete everything (from custom design to planning permission), and that the solar roof capabilities, protected by a 25-year warranty, would be integrated within an energy consumption app—also used to track the battery charge and status of any Tesla vehicles.

Techcrunch adds that Tesla will first work with specialised installers, then expand to installations with third party contractors. The idea is to make installing faster than traditional shingles with solar panels on top and for the ultimate goal to be installation, which is faster than traditional roof tiles.

Musk apparently thinks there’s potential to install roofs on 1,000 houses per week—and to reach 100 million houses around the world.

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