Tesla Solar Roof pre-orders launched

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The black glass smooth and textured versions are available for pre-order now, while Tuscan and French slate versions will be available to order "in about six months", Musk said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company's new solar roof tiles would hit homes in April. Tesla is very confident about their product and has announced a lifetime warranty it for the buyers. The plunging price of solar in recent years has made it favorable for the wider uptake this form of renewable energy.

"The typical homeowner can expect to pay $US21.85 per square foot for Solar Roof, and benefit from a attractive new roof that also increases the value of their home", Tesla said in a statement. US Consumer Reports now pegs the price of these panels at US$21.85 per square foot.

The product, which Tesla will offer through its SolarCity division, will be a no-brainer for homeowners, Musk has said. "These are really the three legs of the stool for a sustainable energy future", Musk said. Solar energy could fuel electricity into the battery pack to provide power when the sun goes down.

In a follow up tweet, Musk said that solar roofs will start going out to customers in the United States later this year.

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Nonetheless, Tesla is not the first company to be in the solar panel business given that the market has been growing.

Tesla, of course, acquired SolarCity in a deal worth $US2.1 billion in November 2016, shortly after it revealed the solar shingles. The solar ones are way more expensive because of the circuitry involved.

Tesla's Fremont solar plant in California will be the first point of production before moving to the company's new factory in Buffalo, New York.

Previous attempts at solar roofs by others have been unsuccessful and dogged by cost, performance and reliability problems. This stuff is fairly hard to destroy, and can easily deal with the wear and tear of a typical roof. The company's solar roof tiles, which blend more seamlessly into home designs that traditional photovoltaic panels, have the potential to revolutionize the market for residential solar. It also showed off four different looks, which resemble the current roofing material style. "A 30 percent premium could well be acceptable".

Tesla claims the tiles do not degrade over time like asphalt or concrete.