The newest solar roof is made with tempered glass; collectively, the product consists of both solar and nonsolar tiles. The estimated price of a 2,000-square-foot roof is $33,950, according to Tesla.

Solar Roof Tiles are solar panels designed to look like and function as conventional roofing materials, such as asphalt shingle or slate, while also producing electricity. These are a type of solar energy solution known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

Tesla and Solar City first announced the solar roof tiles back in late 2016, positioning it as a solution for those who might want to switch to solar but are turned off by its aesthetics.

Tesla’s solar roof tiles are designed to look just like normal roof tiles when installed on a house.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the newest version of the company’s solar roof tiles for residential home use, which he dubbed the “solar glass” roof.

This latest version, the company says, is made with tempered glass and has increased power density.

Tesla says it has reduced the parts used in the tiles by half and brought down costs substantially compared to the second generation tiles.

The solar roof is being built at the company’s Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, a facility that has only relatively recently sprung back into life after being slowed significantly by the brand’s Model 3 production needs for battery cells and packs.

With this third version, Tesla is aiming for 1,000 installations per week within a few months.


Tesla team member inspecting the solar roof tile in production at Gigafactory 2 (Teslarati)

“Versions 1 and 2, we were still sort of figuring things out,” Musk said earlier this week during a call with investors. “Version 3, I think, is finally ready for the big time.”

“We’re doing installations as fast as we possibly can, starting in the next few weeks,” Musk said about availability.

Based on a 2,000 square-foot roof, with 10 kW of solar power, Tesla says the solar roof would cost $33,950 including an $8,550 federal tax credit that’s available until the end of the year.

There’ll be a 25-year warranty for the solar roof, Tesla says, though Musk admits there may be some cases where it’s not necessarily the cheapest.

A major setback for Tesla’s solar roof was its go-it-alone mentality, which would force the company to set up an entire roofing business internally, and compete against established roofing channels.

To address this, Musk said that Tesla is open to working with roofers outside of his organization.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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