Tesla to begin taking orders for its solar roof shingles

A solar-shingle roof is expected to cost no more than a standard roof

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed his company will begin taking orders in April for its latest product: roof shingles that are tougher than standard roof coverings and can enable an energy-independent building.

In October, Tesla unveiled four different solar roof tiles that the company plans to tie tightly into its manufacturing and sales of household and commercial battery systems; the tiles can store energy while at the same time making it available to charge Tesla electric cars.

Elon Musk solar shingles Twitter

The shingles will begin shipping in volume this summer, beginning with the shingle the company expects to be the most popular; that version will be followed three months later by the next type and so on.

The solar roof tiles are being manufactured by SolarCity, which Tesla bought last year, and will be sold by Tesla Energy, a subsidiary of Tesla that also sells its home/business battery systems.

Tesla solar roof shingle Tesla Energy

Tesla CEO Elon Musk holds a French-style slate solar shingle up against against the image of a completed rooftop.

Telsa Energy's solar roofs will come in four types: Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile, and Smooth Glass Tile, and each is more durable than conventional roof tile, Musk said.

Tesla's grand vision is to sell solar roofs that produce energy stored in its lithium-ion home and commercial battery systems and that can charge its all-electric vehicles.

Musk did not disclose what, if any, price premium the tiles would have over standard rooftop solar panels sold by SolarCity, which it will continue to sell. Solar Panels will be targeted at homes with new or serviceable roofs, while the solar tiles will be targeted at new construction or replacement roofs.

Tesla solar roof shingle Tesla Energy

Tesla CEO Elon Musk holds up the Tuscan Glass Solar Tile, which looks opaque when viewed from the street. When viewed straight on the photovoltaic cells that generate electricity can be seen.

Tesla solar shingle tiles Tesla Energy

A home with Tesla's Tuscan-style solar tile installed.

"The cost will obviously vary according to the size of the house and the difficulty of the installation, but the important thing is the apples-to-apples comparison to a regular roof, we're confident will be at least at or slightly below the cost of a regular roof," Musk said during a November shareholders meeting. "The electricity is just a bonus."

Because they're made with glass, Musk said the shingles could last "quasi-indefinitely," even in harsh northern regions, with a 50-year lifespan possible.

"The goal is to have solar roofs that look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation and actually have an installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost of electricity," Musk said at the time the shingles were announced.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Daily Briefing

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?