Tesla begins manufacturing solar roof tiles

Tuscan Solar Roof

Tuscan Solar Roof

Tesla initially expected the rollout of the solar shingles to begin in 2017, with the manufacturing of the first two types of tiles - smooth and textured - to start during summer. Tesla would not disclose how many reservations it had received for the solar roof.

Tesla said on Tuesday it began manufacturing its premium solar roof tiles at the company's Buffalo, New York factory last month, and has started surveying the homes of customers who made a deposit of $1 000 to reserve the product previous year. Tesla expects to complete projects for non-employee customers in a few months. They were first presented in October 2016, while the USA company started taking orders at the beginning of May 2017. In November, Tesla founder Elon Musk said the product was going through a six-month testing process, saying "it just takes a little while to get this behemoth rolling".

The USP of Tesla's Solar Roof tiles is due to their versatility; their functional and aesthetic appeal.

Instead of traditional solar panels that are installed on top of a customer's roof, Tesla's innovative tiles embed solar energy harvesting components into the roof shingles themselves. This ramp-up seems to be well within Tesla CEO Elon Musk's expectations.

Smooth Solar Roof
Smooth Solar Roof

Solar shingles will cost more than a conventional roof along with photovoltaic panels - but not "wickedly so", said Hugh Bromley, a New York-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst.

Hugh Bromley, Finance analyst, Bloomberg New Energy opines that there are potentially booming markets for the Solar Tiles beyond the United States, such as Australia.

"It may actually do well in overseas markets where solar-photovoltaic is cheap, and homeowners are used to paying a premium for building materials and cars - such as Australia", Bromley said in an email, according to a Bloomberg report. A total estimated cost for a new Tesla solar roof is around $21.85 per square foot, if 35 percent of the panels are active and the rest are inactive. "It comes more than a year after Tesla unveiled the shingles to a mix of fanfare and skepticism".

Tesla's Solar Roof tiles are quite unique in the way that they are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The potential benefits and savings of installing a Tesla solar roof depends on local sunlight conditions as well as local government incentives and schemes.

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