The appeal: a sleek, clean solar product, especially for homeowners seeking to replace aging roofs.
Tesla said on Tuesday it began manufacturing its premium solar roof tiles at the company's Buffalo, New York factory last month, and has started surveying the homes of customers who made a deposit of $1 000 to reserve the product past year.
Manufacturing of the textured-glass tiles began last month at Tesla's Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, N.Y., according to a statement from the Palo Alto, the Calif. -based company on January 9. This comes over one year after the unveiling by Tesla of the shingles to much fanfare as well as skepticism.
It's been making solar panels since last summer. Due to unforeseen delays, however, the mass production and installation of the shingles was ultimately pushed back, first to late 2017, and later, to 2018. Bromley estimates that a 2,000-square foot home would require $57,000 worth of Tesla tiles, whereas a terra cotta roof with solar panel add-ons would cost $41,000.
Over the past few months, several sightings of Solar Roof installations were observed by the Tesla community.
The company has become the largest installer in the USA of solar systems for rooftops, and piloted its latest product on the homes of many of its employees. Floating news about ramp-ups such as Panasonic, a solar cell manufacturer increasing its employee base to expand its product line, and a report about a Tesla patent presenting an adhesive that can smoothly conduct electricity through the solar tiles were cleared off with Tesla's recent announcement that makes the timeline for the installations crystal clear. Following collaborative development with Solar City, the Solar Tiles own a unique look distinguishing them from conventional roof tiles albeit having a full-fledged solar panel.
Tesla began the production of its solar panels and solar cells four months ago in its Buffalo Gigafactory 2. NY chose to support the factory with $750 millionin incentives.
The solar shingles are an element of a three-part solution, including also energy storage and electric cars.
"It may actually do well in overseas markets where solar-photovoltaic is cheap and homeowners are used to paying a premium for building materials and cars - such as Australia", Bromley said in an email".
Comparatively, opting for the Tesla roof is more expensive than using traditional materials, but not by an overwhelming margin.