The long-awaited product with which Tesla plans to revolutionize the rooftop solar industry is now available, according to an email from the company. Tesla has stated that it began manufacturing Solar Roof tiles last month at its gigafactory in Buffalo, New York.
Incidentally, Tesla also says Panasonic’s Heterojunction Intrinsic Thin Film (HIT) PV modules have been being made at the site since last summer. This was not widely reported and pv magazine staff were not aware of this, although we did report the beginning of pilot cell production in September.
Along with this milestone, the company reports that it has begun installation of the Solar Roof for “non-employee homeowners”, a reference to the pilot projects which were installed on the homes of top executives and other employees. Tesla notes that this included validating glass tile reliability and weatherization testing.
Tesla notes that equipment configuration is continuing at the Gigafactory, which has the aim to achieve 1 GW of annual cell and module production annually. This will make it the largest PV factory in the Western Hemisphere.
The company is also hiring beyond the approximately 500 employees who are currently working on the site.
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This is great news! That is, for all of the millionaires in California. This is just a yawn and of celebrity interest to the other 99% of us who in reality can’t afford to shell out $60 K for a show-off new roof. Especially if you can get the very same real PV “power” from a small $10 K normal PV system installed on a normal roof. (Installing solar PV is what I do for a living, so I know and have seen many such solar schemes throughout the past 20 years…).
Tesla is destined to run out of rich people. The same will happen to their $60 K Model 3 cars… Fun to watch, but are out of reach for the normal population. My thoughts.
What is your source for the claim that the Tesla Model 3 costs $60K? I’m seeing an average price of $45-$55K: https://electrek.co/2017/04/06/tesla-model-3-average-sale-price-data/
But you are right, that is the question – whether Tesla can bring down costs before it runs out of rich people to sell to.
The source for the $60,000+ cost for the Model 3 comes from reading the latest issue of Motor Trend magazine (Jan. ’18), where they do a head-to-head comparison to the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf. They start off with the explanation that Tesla is right now only building the extended range battery option, with the full option packages for the first few months of production – because they make the most profit from them. And so that’s why they had to review that loaded version. Look it up, it’s an interesting article. The three reviewers liked the Chevy Bolt the best…and at $20,000 less cost as well
I would love to know the specs on the Tesla solar roof. Power output, efficiency, warranty, etc. Last I checked, Tesla wasn’t sharing any of that pertinent information.
Tesla WILL tell you their warranty is for as long as you own it (so don’t move – the warranty is voided). As far as the “real” efficiency specifications are, they are unknown because they will be installing these tiles in all kinds of poor solar exposed situations (in the pictures that I see, they are installed next to chimneys, 2nd story home walls, east and west facing roof areas, trees that shade…). I don’t blame them for not trying to reveal a real total kWh expectation until someone actually visits your house and takes measurements like a real solar professional would.
I certainly wouldn’t allow myself to be all hyped up and fooled with Tesla’s typical marketing techniques that they use. I’d insist on a physical site visit B4 I’d plunk down $60,000. But that’s just me…as a professional solar installer…
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