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article imageTesla's Elon Musk introduces new 'Solar Glass Roof'

By Ken Hanly     Oct 27, 2019 in Technology
Elon Musk announced a redesign of Tesla's solar roof tiles named the Solar Glass Roof. The roof will cost around $42,500 for an area of 2,000 square feet of roof with 10kW of solar capacity. There will be a tax credit of about $21.25 per square foot.
The price of the roof will vary not only by size but also location. The roof will come with a 25-year warranty. It will be offered in a dark tempered glass finish at the start but Musk said he hoped to introduce new designs every six to nine months. The roofs are further described with prices at a company website.
This is Tesla's third try a solar roof design
The third version of Tesla's solar roof the company claims should be cheaper and easier to install then the second version that Tesla is at present selling. With the second version Musk said that Tesla was basically trying not to lose money on each installation. The second version needed additional work done after arriving at a home. In effect construction was finished at installation. The second version was not worth scaling Musk claimed. In fact Musk more or less admitted that his first two versions of solar roofs didn't gain wide adoption or really work.
However, Musk thinks that his third version is worth scaling as the new tiles are larger and more power dense. He said they will help roofs come alive. Musk said: “I think in the future, it will be odd for roofs to not gather energy.”
Musk points out that the Solar Roof will make financial sense only for new houses or replacement roofs. If a roof is more than five years from needing to be replaced it would make more sense just to purchase standard solar panel setups Musk said. Nevertheless, Musk pointed out that the new roofs cost less than an average roof costs together with solar panels.
Musk needs a win on the solar side of his business
Musk spent $2.6 billion acquiring Solar City in November of 2016. Yet in the second quarter of 2019 Tesla sold fewer panels than in any quarter since it bought Solar City. In the third quarter there was just a marginal increase in sales even though Tesla has slashed prices and begun a rental plan. In August, Tesla was sued by Walmart after several stores had fires allegedly caused by the company's solar panels.
Tesla also faces a lawsuit by some of its large investors over the purchase of Solar City: "Newly unsealed court documents show why a number of large Tesla investors, including some pension funds, believe its $2.6 billion acquisition of Solar City in 2016 never should have happened. The documents are an opening brief in a shareholders’ lawsuit against Tesla over the acquisition, but were previously heavily redacted."
Musk optimistic about new roofs
Musk noted: “It’s been quite hard to get to this point. This was a quite a difficult product because roofs have to last for a long time. And then when you add electrification to the roof it gets even more difficult."
However, Musk says the new roof will be simpler and quicker to install than previous versions. The goal is to install 1,000 roofs per week in the next few months. Musk was optimistic claiming that the global market for his Solar Glass Roof was 100 million homes. He is hiring a lot of installers and outside installation companies hoping he can improve on installation.
More about elon musk, solar glass roofs, Tesla
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