CNBC Checks In On Progress Of Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles

SEP 24 2018 BY MARK KANE 31

Tesla’s Solar Roof was unveiled way back in October 2016.

It’s been roughly two years since Elon Musk unveiled the Solar Roof, but despite big promises, the company still struggles with the production of solar tiles.

According to research done by CNBC, there are not many installed Solar Roofs. “Several hundreds of homes with the Solar Roof on them” apparently turns out to be “scheduled for installation or partially installed”.

Other reports were that delays are being caused by assembly-line problems at its factory, and moreover that products leaving the production facility are reportedly not up to the envisioned aesthetical standards.

All it means is that the Solar Roof is a harder nut to crack than expected. Delayed scale-up production could lead to higher costs and prices. At least for now we assume that the Solar Roof will not positively help the finances of the company.

“Elon Musk unveiled prototypes of Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles In October 2016. They came in four styles that looked just like normal roofing material but were essentially miniaturized versions of traditional solar panels.The announcement helped Tesla justify its $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity one month later and represented Musk’s vision for what the businesses could do together.

It’s been almost two years since then. So where are the tiles?

“We now have several hundred homes with the Solar Roof on them, and that’s going well. It takes a while to just confirm that the Solar Roof is going to last for 30 years and all the details work out,” Musk said on Tesla’s Q2 earnings call in August.”

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

31 Comments on "CNBC Checks In On Progress Of Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles"

newest oldest most voted

I’d prefer a less expensive steel black roof with black solar panels installed.
My south side isn’t facing the street.
And the solar panels don’t need to penetrate the steel roof.
That was supposed to be a Panasonic solution available soon.

Let the Solar division sell something.

Not sure what your point is? Tesla is, and always ways, selling traditional panel installations as well…

I went with a high quality, high density panel instead of the Solar Roof because my south facing roof is on the backside of the house and not visible from the street. It’s much more cost effective per kw.

However I would have definitely gone for the Solar Roof if solar panels needed to go on the front side of the house. It’s a solution for a good percentage with the same issue, but not for all. That still makes it a great option to have.

No many hands in the cookie jar


Yeah – on the one hand the ‘Idea’ of a nice looking roof (the initial pictures of the proposed products were absolutely beautiful) – but as the article says – the stuff coming out of the plant locally (Buffalo, NY) are basically just miniaturized solar panels – what the article says is ‘not up there aesthetically’. It will be great if they can perfect the process and actually come out with what they had initially advertised.

But 10 workers taking 2 weeks is a bit much.

One question I would have is, How reliable are all the multitudinous electrical connections? Do they deteriorate under adverse conditions and, if there should be problems, what is the cost to repair them so that the roof is functional again?

Hopefully something for the better happens soon. Locally the news media is making jokes about the ’empty South Buffalo Plant’.

Reportedly they are switching to a different cell type to improve the optical effect — hopefully the results will become visible soon…

As for the connectors, Elon talked about a “surprising amount of tech”… Clearly, they took the issue seriously.

My understanding was that they were to be guartaneed for the life of the roof! So there should be No Cost to the customer if they are not up to snuff or need to be replaced!
My house needs a new roof but I cannot wait ANOTHER two years B4 replacing it.
And now I see that Musk is drilling a tunnel under LA in his spare time rather than concentrating on service to customers who R waiting in line for the shingles 2 B made & their installation! Doesn’t sound like very good priority setting to me…

Anything to discredit Tesla or others who would infringe on the right to pollute mandated by Big Oil and their whores on The Hill.

There are solar panels more efficient and cheaper – if Tesla should be praised for making solar panels, I don’t think the same applies to a product that is less efficient and more expensive. Regarding environment others solar panels makers are ahead.

The point is getting people on board who wouldn’t want traditional panels. It’s not a competitor — it’s a separate niche.

(And Tesla *does* also offer high-quality traditional panels.)

There are known delays, but CNBC has a poor record in accurately reporting on Tesla, so it would be silly to put too much weight on their reports.

We’ve actually seen pictures of fully installed, fully functioning Solar Roofs installed, and aesthetically they are exactly what was shown in the demo.


FWIW, Tesla admitted that there are production issues, and only very few actual installations up thus far…

I remember when Dow was promoting their Powerhouse solar shingles big time. They ended up quietly discontinuing them after admitting manufacturing issues.

CNBC? Really? They have zero credibility and long history of spreading FUD.

So their unit cost is down to what, $10 million per roof now? As soon as the Model 3 starts coming off the line at a reliable rate of 5,000 per week, Elon needs to start spending some quality time in Buffalo.

SOMEBODY is going to get my business next year, great ideas need great actions!

This proves beyond all doubt that Elon showed offf a non existent product to investors and the public before the Solarcity merger. In plain English, it’s a word beginning with f.

Yes, that word that best describes you and everything you write here begins with an F and is follows by UD!

The tiles at the launch were not-working mock-ups. They did not even have working prototypes. Not a problem as long as you disclose it, but did he?

This is why Musk and his lawyers need to settle with the SEC asap. You don’t want them poking around, finding inconvenient emails and interpreting them unfavorably.

How would you know?

Sometimes I’m wrong, but solar roof is a bad idea, it’s just too expensive for less efficiency.
The looks can be a plus, but what’s wrong to show conventional solar panels? – I think they look cool :).

I prefer industrial size solar panels on ground mounting. They can be installed on cheap rural land at scale and at small fraction of money, resources & energy needed for solar roofs or conventional rooftop PVs, and have cheap single axis tracking and so much better capacity factor. And the best, local utility takes care of them – you don’t need to spend your time taking care about maintenance, extra insurance, wind resistance and who to call to bring back your personal electric plant at 2 am on Sunday night if something goes wrong with fancy setup. My utility is just a call away 24/7.

As an extra bonus, I don’t need to destroy my roof by making holes in it and making any future roof repairs extra difficult, don’t need to pray that netmetering subsidy would survive next decade, nor I need to take second mortgage for latest greenwashing fad to make my roof not so horribly fugly. I can have my roof any color and shape I want – light color tiles, slate, steel, whatever, exactly what it was before or what I want it next.

Yet a lot of people prefer taking care of it themselves, rather than continue being screwed by monopolists with no interest in reducing electricity costs…

Those industrial systems take up a lot of land, use a lot of water to wash the panels clean regularly, and displace habitat. Not smart. Roofs already exist, in large quantities, from homes to shopping centers, industrial complexes, and warehouses. If installed properly, your roof won’t leak.

The only situations where arrays like that might work would be over brown sites and water treatment ponds, etc.

There are actually quite a lot of interesting ideas for integrating solar farms without wasting land — including floating farms, solar canopies above canals or roads, as well as sharing space with plants that don’t mind or even welcome the shade.

And of course that problem doesn’t even exist for installations in deserts…

Rooftop solar alone is not sufficient to cover all electricity needs; and it’s several times more expensive to install. (Even though the location near users offsets *some* of that through savings in grid expansion needs…)

The major benefit of rooftop solar is the decentralised nature — i.e. organisational, not technical.

While personally I love the look of solar panels (especially the polycrystaline ones), apparently there is a significant number of people who don’t…

Look up “home owners’ association”, and you’ll see why this product is so hopeful for success.

Anyone know much about the 3 in 1 roof? I have read good things but not sure sources are objective.