It took Tesla a while before they managed to launch a serious ramp of its solar roof tiles, but it seems like the wait is worth it. While the electric car manufacturer continues to expand its solar roof installations in the USA, it is becoming clear that the aesthetically pleasing solar shingles are a bargain in its class. At current prices, Tesla’s solar roof offers savings compared to high-end roof options and a traditional solar system.
The Tesla solar roof is actually one of the most affordable in its class of building-integrated PV options. While the competitors of the solar roof are less than, for example, the competitors of the Model 3 in the EV segment, the flagship shingles have some competition. These include the DeSol Power Tiles and the Luma Solar Tiles, both of which use the same concept as the Tesla Solar Roof. The solar roof undercuts both competitors in price.
The Tesla solar roof costs an estimated $ 2.11 per watt installed, according to Green Building Advisor. This is far cheaper than the price of the DeSol Power Tiles, which are around $ 7 per watt installed. Even the Luma solar tiles, which are closer to the Tesla solar roof V3, cost around $ 4.50 per watt installed. But that’s not all, as the solar roof could be a sensible alternative to a structure that also uses traditional roofing materials and conventional solar modules.
A rough comparison outlined in a previous Solar Oregon webinar estimates that replacing an entire 2,000 square foot roof with Tesla Solar Roof tiles will cost about $ 42,500. This is more expensive than installing a normal asphalt shingle roof with a traditional rack solar system, but cheaper when compared to higher quality materials such as metal, slate and brick combined with a traditional solar system.
This was highlighted earlier this year by Ben Sullins, an avid Tesla owner, who estimated that a 9.2 kW solar roof system would cost about $ 56,000. And while a standard shingle roof with a 9.2 kW PV system will likely only cost around $ 42,000, premium roofing materials with solar panels are far more expensive. Sullins estimated that a metal roof with a comparable PV system will cost about $ 70,000, a brick shot with a 9.2 kW solar system will cost about $ 111,000, and a slate roof with traditional panels will set homeowners $ 134,000 back.
With that in mind, and given Tesla’s tendency to keep innovating, there’s a good chance the solar roof will become even more affordable in the near future. After all, with an estimated USD 2.11 per installed watt, the solar roof is already a disruptive factor in its segment and is already taking steps to get closer to the cost of conventional roofing materials plus solar panels. Granted, this disruption is not yet apparent, as the solar roof is only available in some zip codes of 16 US states today. However, the following year should be exciting for the flagship solar product.
This was highlighted by Elon Musk during Tesla’s earnings call for Q3 2020. When asked about this flagship product ramp, Musk noted that the solar roof’s potential will be evident in 2021. “I think a future in which we have beautiful roofs that generate energy that is robust and resilient and in every way better than a normal roof and full of energy, that is the future we want. Solar roof is a killer product. This will be evident next year, ”said Musk.
Solar Oregon’s webinar on solar roof systems can be viewed below.