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Is Tesla’s New Solar Roof For You?

Tesla’s solar business has been rather lackluster ever since its launch in 2016, and some feared that the project might be dead in the water.  Last week’s Q3 2019 update and subsequent conference call revealed just the opposite, however; Tesla CEO Elon Musk has unveiled the newest iteration of Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles as well as bold plans to ramp up production in the near future.  The Tesla Solar Glass Roof, as it has been dubbed, is expected to bring Tesla’s solar business back into the limelight.

Tesla Solar Glass Roof

The announcement of V3 of Tesla’s Solar Roof came Friday when Musk revealed details on the newest design.  This version of Tesla’s solar roofing product will be cheaper, easier, and quicker to install than those before it, said Musk.

The third version of Tesla’s Solar Roof uses larger tiles and different materials which reduces the number of parts and subassemblies required for installation by more than half.  The initial design is offered in a dark tempered glass finish, but Musk said in Friday’s conference call that he aspires to release new designs every six to nine months, such as clay and other alternatives.  It comes with a 25-year warranty and an assurance that the glass tiles can resist 110 mph winds and hail up to 2 inches in diameter. 

What makes Tesla’s product so unique is the fact that the company is not just installing solar panels on an existing roof– instead, the solar generating mechanics are integrated with the roof itself, making for a much more aesthetically pleasing look over traditional panels. 

Musk hopes to install up to 1,000 of his Solar Roofs each week in the next several months, barring any setbacks.

The Price

Alright, so the update is nice to hear about and all that, but what about the price?  Tesla’s Solar Roof website now offers interested parties a pricing estimator to get a feel for what they might expect for one of these fancy new roofs on an average 2,000 square foot home.  After an $8,550 federal tax incentive, a customer might expect to pay $43,790 for a premium concrete tile roof with add-on solar panels, $34,550 for a composition shingle roof with add-on solar panels, or $33,950 for the integrated Tesla Solar Roof.  

So at least on average, it looks like Musk has finally gotten his Solar Roof down to a comparable price with composition shingles, which is frankly incredible. 

Is It for You?

While Tesla’s Solar Glass Roof sounds pretty amazing, it will not be for everyone.  Musk was quick to point out that customers whose roofs are more than five years away from needing replacement would likely be better off installing standard solar panels. 

“The Solar Glass 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 explained in his call.

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