What Happened To Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles?


but house you see around you are all solar houses I don’t know if you know that did you notice yeah so then why would you buy anything else Elon Musk unveiled prototypes of Tesla’s solar roof tiles in October 2016 they came in four styles that looked just like normal roofing material but were essentially miniaturized versions of traditional solar panels the roof tiled reveal helped Tesla justify a 2.6 billion dollar acquisition of solar city and represented Musk’s vision for where the businesses could do together it’s been almost two years since then so where are the tiles we now have several hundred homes with solar roof on them that’s going well it takes a while to just confirm that Solar is gonna last for thirty years and all the details work out as it may this year reuters reported that they’re actually only 12 tiled roofs connected to the grid all in Northern California Tesla declined to give an updated figure but later clarified that hundreds of homes refers to roofs that are scheduled for install or are only partially installed Tesla has been accepting thousand-dollar deposits for the roof tiles since May 2017 but at that point the company wasn’t even close to mass producing them it established a factory in Buffalo New York to make the tiles but it’s not running at full capacity yet and in the company’s most recent annual shareholder meeting must blamed ongoing delays on a need for more testing there’s only so much accelerated life testing that you do on a roof so before we can deploy it to a large number of houses we need to make sure that it’s at all elements of the roof are going to last for at least three decades ideally sort of half a century or more Solar tiles like large solar panels use silicon solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity but it turns out this tech is difficult to shrink and to manufacture it’s a little bit like saying the early iPhone screens which were real breakthroughs were just smaller versions of your flat screen on your wall making things small actually changes a lot of the way the technology will work and that’s been a big challenge I think for Tesla but certainly for the whole industry overall to try and miniaturize it in a way that keeps it cost-effective and also gives it the very very reliable performance that Solar is known for one of the customers with the tiles already installed is San Jose resident and Tesla Model 3 owner tree Wynne he pre-ordered as soon as possible and the roof is installed earlier this year I was actually stream surprised I got the call just because you never know with this stuff right I thought there’d be extreme delays I just didn’t while traditional solar panels can be installed in a day it took a team of 10 to 15 workers two weeks to install this roof when asked them why his home was chosen they said it was kind of proximity to their headquarters so that they could do quick troubleshooting I think the simplicity of the house helps you can see my head my house that’s a very simple roof layouts on it like complicated roof so I think that goes into account as well Tesla’s customers are paying a premium for the tile suite look winds roof cost him about $100,000 though he didn’t need to replace his roof anyway I don’t think it’s whatever paper itself honestly for people that don’t need a new roof but want to install solar traditional panels are definitely cheaper people have often said to me do we need to find some great new technology to finally make solar work and I think the answer is no that the solar industry has one in America we have made solar cost effective in most of the country but when is excited to be an early adopter and see his energy bill decrease traditionally in the summer my power bill is around $400 $450 in the summer my last bill was only $40.00 ultimately Tesla’s goal is to make the tiles a cost-effective option partly by ensuring they’re more durable than other rooftops Tesla’s promising 30 years of solar power generation I would expect these solar roofing tiles in just a few years to be quite reasonably priced if they can get the market interest that they’re hoping for experts anticipate a wave of new solar installations within the next three to five years not just for homes for businesses for new mini malls for all kinds of built infrastructure where we can make solar the go-to product it’s not just a roofing shingle anymore it’s a power plant on your roof Tesla says solar roof installations will scale up later this year and into 2019 it’s highly likely that great engineers and incredible technologists and a lot of those people might be at Tesla are going to be able to take this very difficult challenge and engineer the heck out of it and get us to that cost parity we’re not there yet

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