Tesla Releases Price on Its New Solar Roof: $65,550 or $21.85 Sq. Ft.

“I want a Tesla solar roof. I don’t care what it costs.” When we last visited Elon Musk and his proposed solar roof that was the sort of customer that seemed most likely for Tesla’s great-looking, electricity-generating roofs composed of tempered glass tiles infused with photovoltaic cells.

At the time of Musk’s announcement of the solar roof last year, there was no accompanying price for the project which led to intense speculation and number crunching.

Now that Tesla is officially taking orders (with a $1,000 deposit) the company has released a solar price calculator for anyone contemplating a new solar roof.

Two of the four styles will be available in June, gray smooth glass and black textured glass.

Tesla smooth solar glass tile roof. Source: Tesla

Slate glass and Tuscan glass are scheduled for a 2018 appearance. Now that consumers can crunch their own numbers, has the pool of potential customers for the Tesla solar roof deepened?

Clan Slate. Source: Tesla

The Solar Roof Calculator

To use the Tesla solar roof calculator all you really need is your address (don’t worry – a Tesla roof salesman will not come knocking on your door). The calculator then factors in such variables as the size of your house, the climate in your area, the public utility information for your municipality, a 30 percent Solar Investment Tax Credit and so to arrive at an upfront cost of your new solar roof and the amount of energy savings your solar roof will realize over the life of the roof.

Tesla’s sample home assumed a 3,000-square-foot roof in the Mid-Atlantic region which would require one PowerWall battery used to store the energy generated by the glass tiles.

Cost of Tesla Solar Roof

The cost for that roof would be $65,550 (before adding the cost of the battery at $7,000) or $21.85 per square foot. While that sounds pricey, when the cost of electricity is factored into the equation the Tesla solar roof would save the homeowner over $15,000 in the course of a 30-year life span for the roof. Those savings only escalate from there since a Tesla solar roof is guaranteed for “infinity, or the lifetime of your house, whichever comes first.”

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Tesla Solar Roof Pricing Expectations Update May 15th, 2017

Tesla, one of the world’s truly innovative companies, is at the forefront of making clean energy the new conventional choice for living with its trifecta of products including electric plug-in car, Powerwall battery, and the newly released solar roofing tiles. We’ve introduced Tesla Solar Roof here. Now, we drill down on costs and potential savings.

Tesla smooth solar glass tile roof. Source: Tesla

The Price of an Average Roof

Tesla CEO and product architect Elon Musk claims that Tesla roof will be comparable in cost, over its lifetime, to other common roofing types. Is he just blowing promotional smoke, or is his boast the truth?

Are we talking about a typical asphalt roof, or a typical high-end clay tile or natural slate roof here? The truth is that Musk is comparing his product to high-end residential roofs, and as our earlier analysis has shown, a new Tesla Solar Roof will probably cost in the range of $70,000 to $100,000 installed on a typical house.

And what about the energy cost savings? Is that a game-changer when considering a Tesla roof? Let’s get some answers, starting with average roof costs. All costs are per square foot and cover most roofs. You can always find exceptions on the high end of cost.

Material                                                       Material Cost            Installation Cost

Asphalt shingles                                          $0.80-$1.50                $1.50-$4.00

Wood shingles/shakes                              $2.50-$6.00                 $3.50-$5.50

Metal roofing (seam or shingle)              $4.00-$8.00                 $4.00-$6.50

Tiles, clay or concrete                               $12.00-$24.00             $5.50-$9.50

Standard PV panels                                   $32-$45                        $8.00-$15.00

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Tesla Solar Roof Cost: Solar Glass Shingles & Tiles

All You Ever Wanted to Know about the Tesla Solar Roof and other Solar Shingle Roof Options

What if you could build a better mousetrap that looked cooler than any other mousetrap and also cost less than all other mousetraps at the same time? Who wouldn’t want that?

“I’ve never seen a solar roof that I would actually want.” – Elon Musk, 2016.

The mousetrap is a solar roof and the builder is Elon Musk. Yes, that Elon Musk of PayPal, and Tesla, and SolarCity, and private space travel fame.

Musk introduced his foray into consumer building materials in the Fall of 2016 by saying, “I’ve never seen a solar roof that I would actually want. Every one of them that I’ve seen is worse than a normal roof, without exception. Unless you’re going to beat a roof on aesthetics, why bother?”

Solar Glass Tiles Permeated with Integrated Solar Cells — The Better Mousetrap

“Check out this sweet roof,” Musk gushed as he unveiled not one, but four prototypes for his Tesla solar roof: Slate Glass Tile, Textured Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile and Smooth Glass Tile. And they are indeed stunning.

Tesla tucked the solar cells behind the glass

The roof does look fantastic and since the glass is permeated with integrated solar cells the Tesla solar roof is indistinguishable from any other house with a high-end roof on the block.

Musk then ponied up $2.6 billion to acquire Buffalo, New York-based SolarCity to take the lead on manufacturing the tiles.

The glass, Tesla promised, will be even more durable than conventional roofing materials, safe to walk on and all the while churning out electricity that is whisked to a Powerwall 2 battery pack for storage to use at night and on cloudy days.

Since the tiles are fabricated using a water-based immersion process, no two tiles are ever alike (Musk calls them “snowflake tiles”) so your gorgeous solar roof will never look exactly like your neighbor’s gorgeous solar roof.

The Elephant on the Roof — How Much Will It Cost?

So how much is a Tesla solar roof going to cost? If you are the type of consumer who prefers to make decisions on an apple to apple comparison, evaluating the Tesla roof for your pocketbook will drive you batty. It is not just an apples to oranges comparison, it is more like apples to kiwis. 😉

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