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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