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Tesla Enters the Roofing Market

Tesla, the maker of luxury electric cars is entering the roofing business. That’s right, the roofing business. While you may see Tesla as a car company, Tesla sees itself as an energy storage company – namely battery banks. What better use for energy storage devices than solar? And what better way to collect solar energy than a roof?

Tesla is entering the roofing business. Why not just sell storage systems? Because in the long run, the only way to make solar cost-effective without federal subsidies is to eliminate the cost of having to maintain a solar array and a roof by making the solar array be the roof.

The great thing about the idea is that solar cells are a natural raincoat for your roof.  Asphalt has nothing over solar panels in the way of performance protecting your home (with the exception of falling tree limbs, perhaps but even then Tesla claims unparalleled results). Eliminating the cost of the roof shingles and all the associated labor saves a lot of money when putting in a solar solution. Asphalt shingles installed can run anywhere from $4 to $7 a square foot. Traditional solar panels, installed, cost roughly $1 per square foot. You can see right off that adding solar as a part of a new roof install has the potential to save real money.

Tesla will never make money without reaching scale

For Tesla to make a profit margin on solar shingles they are going to have to reach volume similar to GAF and CertainTeed. After all, roofing shingles retail in the $1.25 to $1.75 range per square foot. Tesla will need to be building millions of shingles per year to get costs in line.  Right now Tesla is taking orders for systems at a hefty $50 per square foot.

tesla solar roofing mock of Bellevue roofing job

Tesla Solar Shingles

Perhaps the writing is on the wall with solar cell costs dropping rapidly and fossil fuels becoming more deleterious with every passing day. Right now, Tesla is promising delivery in 2017 but that is beginning to look more and more unlikely as the year progresses. While Tesla is taking orders, they are not promising delivery. According to their web site:

While this Order secures approximate delivery priority within your region, it does not constitute the purchase of a Solar Roof or guarantee that Tesla will sell you a Solar Roof. The timing for delivery and installation of your Solar Roof will depend on your queue position and when the Solar Roof is ready for your region.

No matter if or when the market turns to solar shingles you can be certain Elite Roofing of Bellevue and the East Side will be at the forefront ready to advise you on your options and best alternatives.