Tesla to start taking orders for solar roof tiles next month
Tesla Motors Inc announced last Friday that it will start taking orders for its solar roof tiles in April.
The news was released by Chief Executive Elon Musk in a Tweet.
Here comes the sun
Solar-powered roof shingles unveiled in October 2016, before the shareholder vote on Tesla’s acquisition of the solar power company SolarCity.
Tesla acquired Solarcity to demonstrate the benefits of combining Tesla’s electric car maker with solar panels.
Greentech Media warned Tesla about diving into the integrated solar roof market, listing current and former PV-roof players and breaking down the potential costs of such a roof.
Solar let down in years past
Many companies have taken a stab at solar panels without success, and Tesla’s prior attempts at solar technology haven’t exactly taken off.
Obstacles include roof structures incapable of supporting solar panels and costs have been too high to redesign their architecture.
Tesla hopes that their new roof tiles will be an exception, and are making them a top priority.
“We plan to reduce customer acquisition costs by cutting advertising spend and increasingly selling solar products in Tesla stores,” the company declared in the recent SEC filing.
There are currently 36 new job openings for roofers, suggesting that the company is both ramping up production and keeping manufacturing in-house. Company representatives now say their new solar product is in R&D and on track for release as planned. The roof tiles will come in terra cotta, slate, textured glass, and smooth glass.
Roofs in a car shop?
While an exciting endeavor, such a leap in product lines could be awkward to execute. Will car salespeople be trained to sell roof tiles? Or will specialized solar salespeople be assigned to select stores? [clickToTweet tweet=”Would someone looking at a Tesla with cars on their mind be interested in upgrading their roof?” quote=”Would someone walking into a Tesla store with cars on their mind be interested in upgrading their roof?”]
There was no mention of the cost of the new solar tiles, but the company has previously stated they would cost less than a conventional roof with added solar power. The company seems confident in their approach. Perhaps there is a sustainable solution for sustainable energy, and it’s Tesla’s time to shine.