Tesla unveils hi-tech solar roof tiles for a small premium

Although more chic, these are 10%-15% cheaper than the cost of installing a 1700 sq ft rooftop along with traditional solar panels.

Tesla Inc has reported that it has begun taking order for its solar roof tiles, a cornerstone of Elon Musk’s strategy of a green, fossil-fuel free lifestyle.

Tesla said these solar roof tiles will be able to generate solar energy without the need for installing traditional rooftop solar panels. However this convenience comes a cost which will ultimately pay for itself in the form of reduced electricity bills.

To purchase Tesla’s latest wares, homeowners will have to first put down a deposit of $1,000 using Tesla’s website. Homeowners can also use Tesla’s site to calculate the estimated upfront cost of a solar roof.

As per Tesla’s calculator, a 1700-square-foot roof in Southern California with half of the roof covered with “active” solar tiles, will cost around $34,300 after a federal tax credit. As per Tesla’s estimate, the roof more than pays for itself since it can generate electricity worth $76,700 of electricity over 30 years.

As per its estimates, its solar roofs costs around 10% to 15% less than the cost of installing a regular roof topped up with solar panels.

It is worth noting that the cost of installing these new panels will depend on the type of the existing roof.

As per Jim Petersen, chief executive of PetersenDean Inc, the cost of installing new solar panels, including federal tax credits, on a 1700-square-foot roof comes to around $22,000, well below Tesla’s estimate.

Tesla has also indicated that, solar powered glass tiles will be made available in the U.S. later this year, beginning with black textured glass versions and gray smooth glass, with Tuscan and Slate styles slated to be introduced in 2018.

The product will hit markets overseas in 2018.

Tesla stated it exects the product to be popular in locations beyond where its SolarCity subsidiary currently operates.

These solar tiles will be manufactured at its solar factory in Buffalo, New York. Production will start “very slowly,” said Musk to reporters on a conference call, while adding that he expects robust demand.

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