Whether deserved or not Tesla has gained itself a bit of a reputation, a myriad of fans of the company and it’s “Hey let’s commercialise space, what could possibly go wrong?” sister company Space X as potential saviours of the world. It’s for that reason that anyone considering purchasing a Tesla Solar roof might be getting on board for the obvious ethical reasons.
So it might be prudent, before we get deep into this product, to address the Elon Musk shaped elephant in the room. To say he’s a controversial figure would be an understatement, after all he has made life choices that include calling a rescue worker a pedo, crushing his workers attempts to unionise or just straight up destroying his child’s chances of ever being taken seriously in life and that’s just in the last few years. Then there’s the company Tesla itself to consider and, well, the cars may accidently kill you or kill the people making them and, honestly, does anyone really believe a company that thinks the CYBERtruck is a good idea isn’t evil? Just look at that thing!
So if this about making an ethical choice, we’d recommend doing some research on whether this particular company is the way to go. On the other hand, does the Tesla Solar roof work? Is it affordable and how does it work? Those are questions we are able to provide some answers on.
The first thing to know is that, unlike your regular run of the mill solar panels that sit on your roof, the Tesla solar roof is actually a straight up replacement roof made up of Tesla solar roof tiles. Your whole roof effectively made of Tesla solar panels. These solar glass shingles absorb the suns energy and transfer it into a Tesla battery, allowing you (in theory) to save money on electricity all while having a roof full of solar tiles that looks almost indistinguishable from an ordinary roof.
As far as which version to get, in October 2019, Tesla announced the official launch of the new Tesla Solar Roof V3, the latest version available. There has been several updates from previous versions which include larger Tesla roof tiles that have increased power density, lower production costs and are now made for easier installation. As of February 2020 these were green lit to launch in Australia and that’s what Tesla seems to be pushing out on their website.
But when you get to the question of price is where the confusion starts, while American sites state that estimates come in at around $34,000 (US), the Australian price isn’t that easy to determine. The Australian Financial Review estimates the cost to be about $318 per square meter of roofing, putting it at about $95,400 for an average 300-square meter size roof. Two and a half times what you would pay likely pay for a non-solar roof but cheaper than a new roof, plus solar panels. The Tesla solar roof also reportedly generates more energy than your average solar panel set up, though hard numbers are not available. It would seem that if you’re in the market for a new roof and you want solar power, comparably, the Tesla Solar Roof would be the one to buy.
They’re made to last, Tesla website gives it a 25 year guarantee, including a weather guarantee for the same amount of time – thus covering any immediate maintenance or servicing costs. Tesla takes care of the installation so that’s another plus for them. It is also strongly recommended that you purchase the Tesla Solar Powerwall batteries to go with it and that’s very much recommended with a capital R. Remember that the whole point of solar power is it works when the sun is up and pretty much the whole point of lights are so you can see when the sun isn’t available, without a good battery you’re going to have some real issues getting those two concepts to align. The need to purchase the solar wall is, of course, going to add to the already high costs, something to keep in mind.
When you look at the reviews of this product out there it would seem that compared to solar panels and other glass roof systems Tesla is the best. It looks like a roof and it generates more power, the sticking point is always the price. If you want the best product and you don’t care about anything else, Tesla seems to be the way to go. However, if you have ethical reasons for getting into solar power, you’re not made of money or you don’t really care about the look, there are other options out there that might suit you better.