Pictures of Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles installed on a residential unit were recently shared online, showcasing the near-indistinguishable look of the photovoltaic roof system from traditional roofing material.
The photos of the solar roof shingles were shared by @Toblerhaus on Twitter, who stated that the tiles were “every bit as beautiful” as she had hoped. The Tesla fan further remarked that her home’s photovoltaic installation, which is rated at 9.9 kW, has made her family feel like they’re “living in the future.” Based on the images of the installation, @Toblerhaus appears to have opted for the tiles’ “textured” variant.
The first installations of Tesla’s Solar Roofs began last year, with CEO Elon Musk stating during the Q2 2017 earnings call that the tiles have already been installed on his and CTO JB Straubel’s houses. As we noted in a previous report, having the company’s employees as Tesla’s first Solar Roof customers is a clever strategy for the company, since doing so would allow the maintenance of a tight feedback loop with end users.
The Solar Roof tiles were among the key points of Tesla’s Q2 2017 update letter. In the investor communication, Tesla noted that the Solar Roof tiles, together with battery storage devices such as the Powerwall 2, are a step towards the company’s goal of helping customers achieve “sustainable energy independence.”
Tesla designed the Solar Roof tiles to be an option for customers who would like to have solar panels on their homes without committing to the questionable aesthetics of conventional photovoltaic systems. In Tesla’s Q2 2017 update letter, the Elon Musk-led company stated that the Solar Roofs would even prove to be affordable for customers in the long run, considering that the system will result in energy savings.
“Adopting solar has historically required a degree of aesthetic compromise, but Solar Roof provides clean energy from a better-looking roof. Furthermore, Solar Roof is more affordable than conventional roofs because in most cases, it ultimately pays for itself by reducing or eliminating a home’s electricity bill.”
Tesla’s Solar Roofs were initially manufactured in Tesla’s Fremont factory. The production of the tiles was later transferred to the 1.2-million-square-foot Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, NY, Tesla’s facility which Elon Musk states is capable of manufacturing up to 10 GW of energy products yearly.
The Solar Roof tiles were initially planned to enter production in the summer of 2017. Due to delays, however, the mass production and installation of the photovoltaic tiles were pushed back — first to late 2017, and then to 2018. Nevertheless, Tesla announced last January that it is starting the production of Solar Roof tiles in the Buffalo facility, and that customer installations are set to be conducted within the next few months.
If the recent pictures of @Toblerhaus’s Solar Roof installation are any indication, it appears like Tesla is just about to hit its stride in the rollout of its attractive and environmentally-friendly tiles.