Tesla’s solar roof has been a few years in the making and took until v3 till the company was really happy with the product to start expanding internationally.
It seems Tesla’s Energy division now think it’s ready for prime time, with ‘Order Solar Roof’ as a new option on the Tesla Australia website.
The solar panels page of the website has been live for months, but lacks any substantial pricing or delivery dates, while the Solar Roof option lets you progress through to order the Texture Tiles, all while inviting you to combo it with a Tesla Powerwall.
The Solar Roof is an interesting proposition in Australia, with most the roof of most Aussie homes featuring Colorbond steel. Those that are tiled, are mainly wavy terracotta tiles, substantially differing from the flat, sleek design that Tesla is offering.
The whole idea is that the Tesla Solar Roof will consist of a combination of passive tiles and active tiles. The active tiles have solar panels built into them, but you wouldn’t know it from the street level.
While inviting to blanket you’re entire roof with solar tiles, the cost of doing that would be prohibitive, so instead, you’ll choose a portion of tiles that equates to a solar generation capacity of traditional solar systems.
There’s currently no sign of an exact installation date, however Elon has posted in the last 24 hours about an international expansion later this year. This gives them around 10 months to start installs here locally and given there’s 2 million households that already have solar, the addressable market is really new homes.
Each year Australia builds around 200,000 new homes and here’s the brilliant part of a solar roof, it could be included in your build costs and therefore diversified across your mortgage period. This makes the economics far more approachable for people, rather than a large up-front for adding it afterwards.
Various State Governments in Australia offer solar discounts, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Tesla Solar Roof becomes eligible for those rebates.
The panels come with a lifetime warranty of 25 years, a power warranty (those with solar in them) of 25 years. The Solar Tiles are rated to withstand hail of 1.75″ diameter in size. After the summer we’ve just had, it’s important they also include a Class A UL 790 fire rating (the best rating).
If you’re building a new home, this could definitely be worth considering, but if you have an existing home, it’s unlikely the economics of replacing it makes sense.
One of Australia’s leading Tesla YouTubers, Tesla Tom noticed the page early and has already place an order. While there’s a A$100 deposit for the Solar Panels, it looks like there’s no money down to place an order (basically a reservation) for the Solar Roof today.
Tesla recently released a drone video of the solar roof being installed (in America) and it does a good job of showing the complexity of a roof install, as well as a pretty stunning final result.