In October 2016, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla “unroofed” his visionary idea of aesthetic solar roofs, which would take a keen eye to distinguish from a normal roof – for the roof panels themselves would be fitted with solar cells.
Hassling between SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company – which he founded in December
2016, the Solar roof project took a backseat. Until Now. In March 2019, Musk declared that
“ 2019 will be The Year Of Solar Roof ”.
What does he mean by that? Let’s find out.
Tesla Aims For The Sun
We all know the story behind the start of The Boring Company – Musk was stranded in traffic for so long, he decided to make underground routes. Even more interesting is how the Solar Roof Project started.
He felt that roofs equipped with solar cells looked so “ugly”, that he went to do what any
the normal billionaire would do to fix the problem – On August 1, 2016, Tesla bought SolarCity, for a whopping $2.6 Billion, a company that manufactures and installs residential and commercial solar panels.
Tesla is currently completing the third version of the Solar Roof Project. After making promises of Volume Production, Shipping, and Installation in 2017, it went almost silent for 2 years, and have now resurfaced.
Musk took the stance that they had to delay production to 2019 in order to tweak to solar panels to make sure they generated electricity for 30 years to come. In his own words in a shareholder’s meet –
“This is actually quite a hard technology problem to have an integrated solar
cell with a roof tile, have it look good, and last for 30 years.”
They have also been preparing to replace vents and skylights, or at least modify them to match the new Solar Roof aesthetic. Certain air vents can be replaced entirely with Solar Roof’s integrated ventilation, while those vents that can’t be removed will be modified as per the requirements.
Good for the project, the “hard” part now seems to be over, and if Elon doesn’t get bored
enough to start a new venture, things might pace up a little and we would see a truly
revolutionized way of generating clean energy.
Though you wouldn’t expect “aesthetics” and “custom fitting” to be one of the main USPs of a product whose upfront cost is almost twice its competitors, we all know what Tesla is capable of pulling off. Let’s have a look at other factors that are worth considering.
Why Is Tesla’s Solar Roof Worth The Investment?
Durability – Durability is one of the most important aspects of the roof because Tesla’s
Tiles come with the warranty of the lifetime of the house, or infinity – whichever comes
Aesthetics – The best designs are those wherein you don’t even realize that there is any
design at all. What better way is there to implement that than to make the solar panels
invisible to the average eye.
Finances – Though the upfront cost of installation might seem to be quite a sum (At an
average of $21.85 per square feet, it would cost roughly $43k for 2,000 square feet
area), but over a time period of 30-years, the roof might as well pay for itself.
Custom Fit – The roof would be tailor-made for every house so that its integrity is
preserved and it looks as aesthetic as possible.
Off-Grid Power Supply – In case of an outage, you know whom to turn to.
If you’re a curious soul who wants to find out the cost of installing state-of-the-art technology on your roof, you can take a quick tour to Tesla’s Solar Roof website and find a calculator to estimate the area of your roof (using Google Project Sunroof ) and then calculate the cost of installation
But Why Tesla?
Some of you might be wondering – why did Tesla buy SolarCity, to begin with? How are people supposed to trust an automobile company with the roofs over their heads?
The answer to this question lies in the actual vision of Elon, one of the very reasons he began Tesla and bought Electric Cars into the viable market – for clean energy.
Because wouldn’t it be cool, to come back home carpooling from a tiring day at work, driving your Tesla Model 3, contend that you are doing your bit in saving the earth from global warming, when a co-worker says that you would anyway use “normal” electricity to recharge your car’s battery and that too demands the burning of our precious fossil fuels, and you smile back, knowing that with Tesla’s Solar Roof installed, you can truly create and use clean energy.
Solar Panels have been in the picture from long, but with Tesla’s innovative solution to beautify the clean energy by integrating Solar cells and roof panels together, it doesn’t seem far when families and households would start opting for Solar Roofs. After all, which shelter could be better than one which pays for itself?
Have a clean and bright future ahead.