Tesla Solar Roof Finally is Here!

On Wednesday, Tesla opened up orders for its long-anticipated solar roof. On average, the Tesla solar roof price $21.85 per square foot, which is less than the cost of a normal roof, even without the energy savings.

The  cost of a Tesla solar roof ultimately depends on how much energy you  need and the percentage of active solar tiles on the roof itself. To  help people determine that, Tesla also dropped a solar roof calculator  with the release so people can estimate exactly the cost and how much  money the roof will save them over time when they order.  The solar roofs will be able to be installed in the United States this  summer, and should ultimately pay for themselves, which Tesla points out  makes them significantly more affordable than regular roofs. Along with  that, the solar roof is stronger and lighter than a typical roof, which  Elon Musk demonstrated on Instagram. 

And although Elon Musk joked that he wasn’t going to make the warranty for the tiles infinity,  it turns out that he changed his mind. “We offer the best warranty in  the industry—the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes  first,” a Tesla rep tells Inverse

The  Tesla solar roof is made of tempered glass, which makes them three  times stronger than things like slate or asphalt tiles, according to  Tesla. They are also half as heavy as other roofing methods. On an  entire roof, the tiles will be a mix of non-active and active solar  tiles. And while Consumer Reports found that a solar roof needs to be $24.50 per square foot to compete  with other kinds of roofs, the Tesla solar roof comes in at $21.85 with  35 percent of the roof being active solar.

Determining  the cost of a solar roof take into account how much of the roof can be  active solar tile, and how much will just be the non-active glass tiles.  A glass tile, without the solar elements costs $11 per square foot, and  the solar tiles themselves are $42 per square foot. For most houses,  Tesla says only about 40 percent of the roof will be active solar, but  the percentage of active tiles depends on how much energy a household needs.

Tesla released a comparison of the different costs of roofing materials and its glass tile. 

If you want to price your own roof, you can use the Tesla Solar Calculator to determine the amount of energy a solar roof will produce over 30  years, the flat cost to purchase a roof for your house, and even adjust  the cost based on your electric bill.

Of the four tile options,  the grey smooth and textured black glass tiles are open to order, and  the slate and tuscan style tiles will be released early in 2018. Within  the United States, Tesla plans to start installing the solar roofs right  away, and will start installing outside of the US in early 2018. Tesla  says that installation will take about five to seven days, entirely  managed by the company itself. 

With all of the  solar roof announcements, Musk took a moment to upload another kind of  recommendation for the solar tiles. He posted a video of a hail  cannonball hitting a solar tile, leaving the solar tile entirely  unscathed.