Tesla Solar Roof Smooth And Textured To Go On Sale Today


Today is the day when two variants of Tesla’s solar roof will launch.

So says Tesla CEO Elon Musk, via Twitter, of course.

The two variants that will go on sale later today are the smooth glass and textured roofs. The Tuscan and French slate will be made available “in about 6 months,” according to Musk.

Update:  True to his word, the full details are now out – see our follow-up article here.

Tesla Solar Roof – Black Glass Smooth

Here’s the series of Tweets from Musk on the solar roof from the wee hours of the morning:

Musk Tweets On Solar Roof

According to Musk, we should get pricing and ordering details later today, or in approximately 10 hours from the time of his first 3:56 AM (Eastern) Tweet; so about ~2 PM (ET)/~11AM (PT).

As for durability, efficiency and more, Musk previously stated:

“We expect this to have two or three times the longevity of asphalt. It’s really never going to wear out. It’s got a quasi-infinite lifetime. It’s made of quartz.”

“The solar roof consists of uniquely designed glass tiles that complement the aesthetics of any home, embedded with the highest efficiency photovoltaic cells. It is infinitely customizable for a variety of different home styles, each uniquely engineered so that the photovoltaic cells are invisible.

“Customers can choose which sections of their roof will contain the hidden solar technology while still having the entire roof look the same. These new roofs will seamlessly and beautifully supply renewable energy to homes, battery storage systems and back into the grid creating savings for owners.”

“When combined with Tesla Powerwall, the solar roof can power an entire home with 100% renewable energy.”

The first solar roofs will be deployed later this year starting in the U.S. Other countries will follow next year.

For more info on the solar roof, refer back to our post on its launch from 6 months ago.

Check back for pricing updates later today.

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82 Comments on "Tesla Solar Roof Smooth And Textured To Go On Sale Today"

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so are you east coast, early riser or night owl? night owl here.

not noticing when this was posted until after reading most of it I was hoping this was posted yesterday so the “10 hours from now” information would already be available.

the longevity apply to the photovoltaics or just the tiles themselves?

I’d suggest the tiles. PV modules typically have a 25 year warranty, although they normally last longer with a gradual decline in production.

How do they do the wiring and connectors? Are they really large modules that just look like small shingles/tiles?

Someone needs to get a hold of a couple of these and do a teardown. That would be an interesting read!

Please go to youtube and watch his video on the topic. It’s straightforward.

The video says absolutely nothing about tile-to-tile connections or about tile grouping into weight/size-manageable modules.

Conclusion: It’s still a mystery!

Darth said:

“How do they do the wiring and connectors? Are they really large modules that just look like small shingles/tiles?”

That’s my worry too. One picture I saw seems to indicate one cell per solar tile.
That is way too many connections unless they are grouped – as you point out.

Trouble is; a physically manageable grouping could be nowhere near as many cells as a typical (e.g. 72 cell) solar module – making for still too many connections. Hence; reliability and installation cost issues.

Fingers crossed for some Elon magic to have already solved this.

Previous articles on the subject have stated the tiles are assembled into frames before delivery to the construction site.

Presumably whoever is assembling the frames can cut them to custom sizes, to fit individual roofs.

Prize will be interesting to see 🙂
The chingels probably clip in to some underlying mech containing the power distribution lines.
Hope we gett to see it too 🙂

It’s OK for corporations to have failed side businesses that become scaled down or abandoned after a test run. I can see solar rooftops as nothing but a drag on the brand and mission. Leave power generation innovation to the players in the nuclear startup scene of which there are a few. Tesla’s edge is CAR disruption.

did you not hear about the nation’s first 21st century nuclear plant already needing to be taken offline for repairs, five months after it came online? or how about the deadly radioactive material that will probably outlive humanity? this just hit headlines yesterday after all https://www.yahoo.com/news/tunnel-nuclear-waste-collapses-washington-state-164355823.html

Yes, I heard about that. It’s separate from forward looking nuclear developments, but still, the current reactor fleet performs well as a whole. Can’t see PV rooftop arrays competing with or without an aesthetic edge. Apologies for opening a can of worms. (I’ll not engage more).

I can’t see nuclear competing with old tech or new.

PV has dropped in price, and can provide distributed generation​.

I can easily see next-generation, safer nuclear power plants — such as NuScale’s SMR (Small Modular Reactor) design — being competitive. Nuclear power plants run 24/7/365, day or night, rain or shine, snowy or not. They can even provide dependable power north of the arctic circle, where the sun doesn’t shine at all for part of the year.

Solar power is great where it’s dependable, but in some areas it’s not. And depending on solar power alone means you need a bank of batteries or some other type of energy storage for night-time use.

Nuclear power has none of those disadvantages.

Forward looking nuclear developments like the Georgia and South Carolina nuclear units that have cost Westinghouse and Stone an Webster to file for bankruptcy and Toshiba to pay 6 billion so far for cost overruns and delays. This is the most advanced design and was suppose to be cheaper and easier to build.

Nuclear is as dead as coal and we need to move faster with renewable and storage. Also rate payers in Georgia and South Carolina will be stuck with higher rates for tears to come because of ths debacle.

Hehe yeah, I remember reading one consultant on the Westinghouse AP1000 jobs saying, “Their current energy cost is 4 cents / kwh, and under the most optimistic scenario, the AP1000’s will cost 11. What were they thinking?”, hehe.

When you look over Westinghouse’s advertise brouchure on these, they claim that due to standardization and commodity, off-the-shelf construction – (pumps, generators, etc.) that construction cost is EXCEEDINGLY LOW.

The reality is these plants are way, way overbudget, and Expert critics such as Gunderson have stated there is not any where near as much safety factor built into these plants as the old second-generation machines (well, with the exception of those HORRID GE Boiling Water Reactors).

But, back to Musk’s new solar panels, it would be helpful is Musk would provide TWO NUMBERS..

1). Purchase Cost of the Panels.

2). Typical Installation Cost of them.

Even France (famous for leading the world in use of nuclear power) is having problems with their nuclear power generation. They are even cutting their nuclear power generation to just 50% of all their power generation, with plans to increase renewables. “The discovery of widespread carbon segregation problems in critical nuclear plant components has crippled the French power industry—20 of the country’s 58 reactors are currently offline and under heavy scrutiny. France’s nuclear safety chairman said more anomalies “will likely be found,” as the extent of the contagion is still being uncovered. With over half of France’s 58 reactors possibly affected by “carbon segregation,” the nation’s nuclear watchdog, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) has ordered that preventative measures be taken immediately to ensure public safety. As this story goes into production in late October, ASN has confirmed that 20 reactors are currently offline and potentially more will shut down in coming weeks. The massive outages are draining power from all over Europe. Worse, new questions continue to swirl about both the safety and integrity of Électricité de France SA’s (EDF’s) nuclear fleet, as well as the quality of some French- and Japanese-made components that EDF is using in various… Read more »

Tesla’ roof with storage battery is going to be a big seller. I won’t be surprised at all if all major home builders building new subdivisions will build the 1st home that they use to sell homes having solar and storage.

They both have a role to play. Solar covers the peak demand during the day. Nuclear covers the base load. Nuclear (even the innovative new designs) generally run best at very high capacity factors. Solar production coincides very nicely with daytime demand increases. They go hand in hand.

“…the deadly radioactive material that will probably outlive humanity?” It’s amazing how many people seem to panic and completely shut down the critical thinking parts of their brain when they see the words “radiation” or “nuclear power”. Reality check: Highly radioactive materials decay quickly, and long-lived radioactive materials aren’t highly radioactive. Most nuclear wastes produced are hazardous, due to their radioactivity, for only a few tens of years and are routinely disposed in near-surface disposal facilities. A small volume of nuclear waste (~3% volume of total waste produced) is long-lived and highly radioactive and requires isolation from the environment for many thousands of years. In fact, the radioactivity of nuclear wastes naturally decays progressively and has a finite radiotoxic lifetime. The radioactivity of high-level wastes decays to the level of an equivalent amount of original mined uranium ore in between 1,000 and 10,000 years. Its hazard then depends on how concentrated it is. Compare this to other industrial wastes (e.g. heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury), which remain hazardous indefinitely. (source below) What amazes me is how so many people regard the relatively tiny amount of toxic nuclear waste as if it’s somehow worse or more toxic than the… Read more »

Solar’s cheap and getting cheaper, nuclear, not so much. Besides, they won’t let me do my own nuclear install!

even France is reducing their nuclear power production. It is a dying technology.

Have we heard the price yet?

Has anyone mentioned how easily these can be repaired/replaced? I’m imagining a strong windstorm ripping up some tiles and/or dropping a tree limb onto the roof. With asphalt, that means replacing a small section. With these, does that mean a brand-new $50k roof?

Well, they dropped a kettle bell on them in the announcement video. I imagine they are far more durable than any other non-malleable roof product out there, and I wager they hold up better than asphalt shingles, which are a mixture of sand and asphalt, which is both porous and susceptible to heat.
Congrats to WARREN on your new solar panels! Make them look good, OK?

I wasn’t aware of that, thanks for sharing. So they are significantly more durable than asphalt. Which makes sense of course, if they are supposed to last 2-3x as long.

However, they are not invincible. They only have a “quasi-infinite lifetime”. I’m still curious whether individual / small groups of shingles can be replaced or whether it requires a completely new roof.

Please go to youtube and watchi his video on this which is months old. It’s pretty straightforward actually.

Most asphalt shingles have a life between 20 – 40 years depending on the type. That being said, it could outlive two to three traditional roof installations at least here in the US. Factor that cost PLUS the energy generated over 30 years to look at the ROI.

It is hard to get people to look at ROI in a project when they are mostly concerned with what it will cost “today”, or monthly cost.

What might change with this product is the cool factor of owning a Tesla roof. If the same group who bought a Model S and Model X sign on, then you have a small yet instant market. Dow Corning made a similar product in the past. The big difference may be timing and the Tesla wow factor. Either way this enthusiast is cheering all the way.

It’s hard to look at ROI when it involves a lifetime of 60-120 years. I know of very few people who live in the same house for that long. When you sell your home, you then have to convince the buyer that the value is higher because of the solar shingles. Someday that may be taken into consideration, but certainly not today.

If I sold my home today, it would be hard to convince the buyer that my solar panels are not a liability (thus lowering the home value). This, despite the fact that they protect the roof surface while providing already-paid-for electricity.

Solar panels demonstrably producing electricity, a liability?!

If you’re not an engineer type, seeing a house that has solar panels (which need to be removed to replace the shingles eventually) and a load of specialized equipment next to the electric panel, doesn’t give new buyers warm fuzzies.

Exactly. Solar is becoming more common around here, but it’s still not mainstream. Most home buyers don’t understand them, and look at the fact that there are now more holes in the roof, extra electric wiring, more work to repair a roof (which is typically done every 10-15 years in our climate, thanks to harsh winters), etc.

Replacing roof every 10-15 years?? What kind of roofs do you have? Or what kind of winters?

I live in sweden and my parents house roof is 40 years old and probably wont need a replacment for another 40-50 years atleast.
And thats the norm here, a roof is built to last 100 years or so.
Unless a tree or somthing falls on it it will stay in place.

I’m in upstate NY. In the US, we must use cheaper materials than you use in Sweden. I have NEVER heard of a roof lasting 40 years in NY. Most roofs installed are nominally 20-30 year lifetime, and in reality most people get half that. No, it’s not just from trees falling on them (although that happens from time to time). The freeze/thaw cycles during fall-winter-spring are murder on the asphalt tiles that are common around here.

As well as the seemingly intense baking in the summertime… They must use better materials down south since you’d think that is where the main baking would be.

I for one, am happy with my Solar installation (done on the cheap). Lately, its been making much more electricity than the amount that was guaranteed, and even though both cars drive around 30,000 miles / year total, I can’t seem to use up enough of the electricity. The 2 Sunnyboys in the basement, while huge for their size, are quiet, efficient, and, so far reliable, and will now keep working down to 99 volts (on a 120 volt basis). Knock on wood, the juice at my house has never gotten below 101 in July or August.

Asphalt shingles are quite uncommon in European houses. Standard non flat roof usues tiles (because they last longer and arn’t a fire hazard). Wheigt is not so important, goes nicely with solid concrete or brick walls. That’s why when there is a heavy storm (like hurricane) in the US, often whole settlements are reduced to a pile of firewood, whereas in Europe some tree branches have to be removed from the street, with the occasional damage to a window or roof where it was hit by a tree. Tornados are rare in Europe, but if they strike, they usually do some damage to some weaker roof constructions only (like normal solar panels on to of the roof), but leaving the rest of the building intact.

Yeah, here in the UK virtually all roofs are concrete tile, they are built to last about 100 years although after about 50 years they don’t look so good.

They are pretty cheap (ish) around £1 or so a tile and are about 18 inches square (ish) and an inch thick.

Kalle asked:

“Replacing roof every 10-15 years?? What kind of roofs do you have? Or what kind of winters?”

When our housing subdivision was built, wooden shingles were quite popular; I’m not sure why. Maybe there was a confidence game by some manufacturer of wooden shingles and/or kickbacks from installers? You are supposed to re-coat wooden shingles every five years, which of course nobody ever did, and they’re a fire hazard to boot.

A few years ago we had a terrific hailstorm, and very nearly every house in the neighborhood had to have its roof replaced, including ours. Almost everyone replaced the wooden shingles with tiles, which of course will last longer and don’t need to be coated.

Unfortunately, in many suburban neighborhoods in the USA (including ours), there is a “neighborhood compact” which puts strict limits on what kind of roofing materials you can use. We couldn’t put standard solar panels on our roof even if we wanted to. These Tesla roof tiles look interesting, but as has already been said, you’d have to commit to living in a house for many years after installing the system to make it cost-effective.

I’ve gone through this. The insurance company pays to remove the panels to replace the shingles and reinstall after.

$0 difference to the homeowner. Only headache was needing to coordinate the solar crew and roofer crew schedules to try to get it all done over 3-4 days. Day 1, remove panels, Day 2-3 roofing, Day 4 replace panels.


Solar owner,

Did your home insurance company increase your rates after you installed your panels (assuming that you informed them of this home improvement) or increase your rates after they paid to repair the storm damage?

” a load of specialized equipment next to the electric panel, doesn’t give new buyers warm fuzzies.”

Is this a joke?! Next to the panel is the shutoff box….that’s it! What specialized equipment? Maybe you are talking about old ways or something….

Where is your inverter? Are you using that new type of solar panel with built-in mini-inverters? If you are, don’t assume that’s the standard.

Even if the solar cells quit working, the roofing material is superior and his comparison is to slate roofing not asphalt so it’s more durable.

Most asphalt shingle roofs do not survive a heavy hailstorm. These panels will.

Tempered glass is vulnerable to cracking/shattering when it’s hit on the edge of the glass.



Glass can nowadays be nearly whatever you want it to be.

There are quite some varieties of “glass”

I would really like to read the opinion of a real glass expert on the quite unsophisticated guesses which appear here.

I can’t tell you details because I also would consider myself a glass-noob but once I had the opportunity to use a really thin-walled special glass bottle to hammer in a common nail into a piece of wood. I had to wear gloves because when we finally destroyed that wonderful piece of glass science we used the temperature gradient between the ambient temperature and the warmth of someone’s hand.

There were other types of glass shown but to me this was the most impressive, so it sticked in my mind.

If you want glass to survive a hailstorm you can do it. There are quite sophisticated machines which will test that aspect of the tiles. I bet 3$ that Tesla tested for hailstorm survival.

Sven is getting desperate as Tesla grows its businesses.

Better close your shorts sven!

Get Real,

To quote the great philosopher, Bart Simpson: “Eat my shorts!”

Hmmm, I think you are the one who is “eating” your short investment, unless you were smart enough to get out before the current sharp upward movement in stock price!

But Tesla really appreciates how all you short-sellers are helping fund the company’s growth.
😀 😀 😀

I can confirm this. I had my 11 year old roof replaced last year due to a hail storm.
The 4000 SF asphalt roof total cost was $11,925. Unfortunately, I’m not a good candidate for solar since over half of my roof is shaded by tall trees.

Wonder how these are affected by fire department safety regulations for set back dimensions from roof edges, etc. And more importantly with all the embedded electrical connections below the roof surface, what are the chances for this being a fire hazard to begin with?
I actually had a shupping truck drop off a 600lb pallet of solar panels on my driveway yesterday. Anodized black monocrystaline panels (with just the vertical line patterns) which are actually pretty nice looking in my opinion.

I was just reading an article on Tesla’s solar roof tiles, and it was talking about a 3 foot setback from the roof edge.

Okay, Mr. Google says that’s because fire fighters need to have a 3 foot space where they can walk near the edge of the roof. So it’s not an electrical hazard thing, or not so much anyway.

I wonder if that even makes sense for Tesla’s solar roof tiles. Would firefighters be able to tell the difference between one of the solar tiles, and the look-alike non-solar tiles? I can’t imagine that they would. And if these tiles are so durable, then couldn’t someone walk on them without damage?

This isn’t going to amount to anything… As a solar owner already, the price AND efficiency per watt is going to be HORRIBLE compared to regular panels. It is true that this will allow the super affluent to put solar on their roofs without being an eyesore, but that is about it. Why would you pay double to triple per watt? My panels pay for themselves in about 7 years in North Carolina. Because of the losses in efficiency in these roof tiles, I would have had a much smaller installation (lower output), and a payoff likely in excess of 20 years. While I know he hasn’t put out the pricing, pretty confident they haven’t done anything dramatic enough yet to significantly improve efficiency and lower cost.

I think the idea is if someone has to replace the roof anyway, this would cost less (install – electricity produced) than the typical high end roofs you see on wealthy homes. And last longer to boot.

If that is true, it could be popular in that niche.

There is the cost of having an eyesore that is a normal solar panel system on your roof to consider, when you come to sell your house, not everyone likes the look of them and I can tell you that here in the UK a house’s price can be affected quite a bit, even more so if you were unfortunate enough to have signed up for one of those free systems where you effectively rent your roof out for free electricity.

Being able to sell your house for more and not less would easily offset the difference in price.

Tesla isn’t selling these as a replacement for solar panels on an existing roof. For that they have partnered with Panasonic to manufacture low profile systems that install over existing roofs.

This product is for a full re-roof, where the price of the roof + panels would be the comparison price, because it replaces both.

I replaced one of my roofs 2 years. Average house size. Total cost: $6000. A 5.6 kw solar system. Cost $21,000. I can absolutely guarantee you that this solar shingles are going to be at least double for the same system. Crap deal

This system is aimed at upscale home owners who wouldn’t be caught dead with cheap asphalt shingles on their roof; those who want tile or slate roofs.

It’s rather a niche market: Upscale home owners who want an expensive roof, and are re-roofing the house or building a new home, and want a solar power system on the roof. That’s why I think it’s questionable that Tesla can make this profitable; the target market is so small, and small volume manufacturing means high per-unit price.

Here’s hoping Tesla Energy surprises me.

Eager to find out the module efficiency and price.

If it’s less than 50% more than it will cost me to re-tile the rest of my roof after my extension and put the sunpower x21 blacks on it, I will probably go for the smooth ones.

I guess I might as well just post the stupid video since nobody knows how to actually read or google before asking dumb questions.

Thanks Tom 🙂

For being a **** I assume you meant.

Will be interesting to see what the price actually is although I don’t see how they can have an on-line price configurator or anything as each roof is different.

Also quasi-infinite? LMAO WTH is that. I wonder if they’re willing to back that up with a quasi-infinite warranty.

It admittedly does look nice.

I have to say, this is the most exciting product that Tesla has ever made. I have an enormous Sunpower system on my roof, and it looks like I have an enormous Sunpower system on my roof. It’s time for a solar roof, and if anyone can pull it off, it’s Musk.

Me too. Sanyo/Panasonic, from 6 years ago, in my case.
It has an appearance that only a mother (or a solar geek) could love.

Functionalists love the appearance as well.

(I have aluminum roofs. Our 6 month old roof looks like our 20(?) year old roof. If I were to get solar panels (maybe never due to location and orientation) I’d just be asking about cost and cost per Watt, not about aesthetics. I don’t do much roof-gazing.

Ya, I kind of wonder this, who stares at their roof and complains awww damn it’s ugly because of those solar PV panels.

Don’t get me wrong I think these, and other tiles that have been on the market for a # of years look better than bolting PV panels on but at the same time I don’t think it looks bad. I’ve got a 6kW system on my southern facing roof and almost never notice it and when I do the 1st thought that comes to mind isn’t “aw damn that looks like crap”.

The busy-bodies at my HOA design approval group, who are all hard core right-wingers. That’s who.

For people who would reroof with standard architectural asphalt shingles this product is going to be a massive price increase. But if you are already looking at an upscale roof like french slate, terra cotta tiles, or standing seam metal then you might be able to go solar without a big price increase with this product.

Very cool, looking forward to the details.

Yes, I’m guessing 3-4x the cost of regular asphalt before tax credits. My 4000 SF asphalt roof cost $11,925 last year.

4000sf = 371 square metres ?

That’s one hell of a roof ?

Are my maths out ?

MTN Ranger must have a really large house. My 2-story home is only 1700 square feet inside. So only about half that on the roof (thanks to being two-story, of course).

Now that I just purchased a brand new 50-yr roof and solar panels that will power 85% of my usage, these come out. My guess is that the combined cost of my new roof and 24 solar panels will still be less than doing the whole roof in these.

I could be wrong but having looked closer at the actual solar cell part of the tile, it looks to me as though nearly half the tile space is wasted ?

If this is indeed the case then effectively you are only utilising half your roof space in which case ordinary solar panels maybe a lot more cost effective as they will produce much more electricity.

Hopefully I am wrong

I think the 1/2 tile that doesn’t have PV is covered up by the tile above … typical for shingles that 1/2 is covered by the overlapping one.

They’ve got a cost estimator up: https://www.tesla.com/solarroof

For my house they gave a rough estimate of $33,000 for my 1500 sq ft two story house. That compares to $6,000 I paid a few years ago to reroof with architectural shingles.

They estimate a 30% federal tax credit would be generated, $10,900, offsetting purchase cost by that amount if you can use it. Unlike the EV tax credit, the solar credit does carry forward to future years.

For me this is not going to fly for a number of reasons. The biggest is that my house has tall trees around it and so my solar exposure is not good enough to warrant investing in roof-top solar.

I have thought of building a garage with apartment on my lot and I would definitely consider going with a solution like this for that project. Though it is probably no more affordable than a regular roof plus solar panels, they do look great and should last quite a bit longer than the regular asphalt shingles.

Nice. For comparison, I also paid about $6k for architectural shingles on a 1900 sqft home. Last month, I signed a contract for Sunpower solar panel with gross cost of $26k and final cost of $13k after tax credit and utility rebate.

I would have to know how much the Tesla roof produces to see if it’s in the same ballpark as the panels, but the gross pricing is very similar ($26k + $6k).

Too bad my roof is only about 3 years old or I might of considered this.

Actually, if my utility gives the same $3k rebate, the net price matches my asphalt shingles exactly: $33k – $11k – $3k = $19k.

My asphalt shingles plus 6.9kW Sunpower panel costs are $13k + $6k = $19k.

Unfortunately, their calculator leaves out a very important piece of information. It doesn’t say what the kw rating of the system would be.

That makes it fairly difficult to calculate how much a comparable roof + solar install would cost on the same roof.

They say “Infinite Tile Warranty”, good for “life of your house or infinity, whichever comes first”. Power and weatherization warranties are for 30 years apiece.

They show video of test results for a 2″ hailstone hitting a tile at 110 mph and tile appears unscathed while traditional slate or terra cotta shatter.