When Tesla announced its solar roof tiles, we said it would be a perfect product for Australian homes. Well, if you've been holding off that renovation, now's the time: although installations won't begin until 2018, you can pre-order your solar roof panels now.
In a blog post on the company's Aussie site, Tesla lays out its justification for why you should put a solar roof on your house. You'll have your own power source and energy self-sufficiency, your roof will be stronger, and over time — with power cost savings taken into account — it won't be any more expensive than a normal roof. That's in the US, at least — we're doing our own analysis of the costs of how Tesla's solar shingles fit into the Australian roofing market. (Stay tuned for that.)
US Consumer Reports pegs the price of a Tesla solar roof at around $US21.85 per square foot. Without any solar subsidies or incentives, Tesla says, a roof with 35 per cent solar tiles should be more than cost competitive with a regular roof over its lifespan. "Buying a roof is often a worse experience than buying a car through a dealership" — another industry Tesla has disrupted — so the company says it's trying to be upfront with costs by sharing a calculator.
If you hook those solar tiles up to a Powerwall, too, you'll be storing that generated electricity to use later when the sun is not shining. That's a big advantage of Tesla's vertical integration: if you're cashed up enough, you could own an electric car and charge it from your electric roof, with the excess siphoned off into your battery energy storage to power the rest of your house.
Solar and non-solar tiles in the same design will be made available — since the solar ones are obviously more expensive due to their circuitry, you'll only have to choose to install the number of solar panels that your house requires. You could go nuts and have an entire roof of solar, but you'll likely be paying a pretty penny for the privilege. However, if you're cutting down on your house's energy bill, that investment will pay for itself in the long run.
Four different tempered glass designs will be available once solar roof is out in Australia. If you're concerned about durability, don't be: Tesla says that its solar shingles are actually the most durable roof available hands down — three times stronger than regular roofing tiles, half the weight, and without the degradation of concrete or asphalt. And Tesla will also throw in a warranty "for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first."
A reserved slot for 2018 installation of Tesla's solar roof will set you back $1310 in Australia.
In a move that would make Steve Jobs boil over with envy, Elon Musk presented Tesla's latest product in an over the top presentation at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Four houses on the old set of Desperate Housewives were refitted with the company's new, almost unnoticeable solar panel roofing.
Over the weekend, Tesla's energy division introduced the world to a new solar roof that it's been working on, alongside a brand new version of the Powerwall home battery storage system that holds twice as much juice. While each on its own is very cool, putting the two together might mean big things for homeowners in sunny Australia.
In 10 years, every new house built in Australia might have a roof made up of solar tiles. That's the pipe dream of Elon Musk, but the almighty dollar might help make the decision for buyers — especially if the Tesla solar roof is cheaper than normal tiles.