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Tesla’s solar roof tiles are a lot cheaper than expected
12th May 2017

Tesla’s solar roof tiles seemed quite spectacular on announcement. It also appears that transition towards them from a normal roof won’t be as expensive as expected.

The idea of having solar powered tiles is quite genius to be honest. Renewable power that costs you nothing. However, Tesla aren’t known to be that affordable – especially when it comes to their cars. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that it’s not actually that bad price wise at all. Technically, it’s cheaper than getting a normal roof fitted.

Tesla's Solar Roof Tiles

The tiles look identical to normal roof tiles. (Image: Tesla)

While these tiles are more expensive than regular ones, the total sum of what you pay includes the removal of your old roof, fitting of the new one, a PowerWall battery for storage and an everlasting warranty on the tiles themselves. Tesla’s system looks like it’s going to cost about $42 per square foot – which currently equates to about £32. It’s cheaper than everybody predicted, which is a nice surprise.

The tiles themselves are very well crafted. They’re made from specially designed tempered glass and look hardly any different from non-solar tiles. Tesla also boasts that they’re three times stronger than conventional tiles, and proved it by firing a cannonball of ice at one (as you do). As you can see from the video Elon Musk put on his instagram, the two most common types of convential tiles shattered. However, the new solar time managed to withstand it.

Smashing roof tiles with a hail cannon

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

How much electricity can it produce?

A good question. Obviously, it will depend on your location, climate and house positioning. If you see a lot of sun, then it will be most effective. However, the more bleak and not-so-sunny parts of the world, it may not be worth it. Tesla has estimated that a roof costing $50,000 would make back about $65,000 in savings over a 30 year period. Estimates aren’t estimates though, so it’s worth using the calculator on Tesla’s site for a better prediction.

While these solar tiles will be making their initial start up in California, it will spread throughout the United States over time. There is no official word on it coming to the UK, or if it ever will. Knowing Musks’s ambitions though, it will likely hit here at a later date as its not worth ruling it out.

Source: Tesla


Technology wizard and keen PC gamer. Prefers not to associate himself with "console peasants" if he can help it.