Elon Musk’s First Tesla Solar Roof Is Here, and It Looks Amazing

Elon Musk’s house runs on solar. The Tesla CEO made the announcement during Wednesday’s second quarter 2017 earnings call, where he revealed that both himself and Jeffrey B. Straubel, the company’s chief technology officer, have installed solar roof tiles on their houses.

“We have installed and working the Solar Roof tiles,” Musk told investors during the conference call.

Tesla started taking pre-orders for the textured black and grey smooth tile styles back in May, with U.S. orders expected to start shipping this year. Unfortunately, those that didn’t order immediately have a long wait on their hands: the tiles sold out until next year in just 16 days. The company is expected to start taking orders for the remaining Tuscan and slate styles in November, with deliveries starting next year. International orders are expected to start shipping next year.

The solar roof tiles are offered at a competitive price point. Tesla has priced them at an average of $21.85 per square foot, bringing them down to below the cost of a normal roof.

Musk is one of the first to have the tiles up and running. When he first announced the tiles in October, he laid out a vision of a future house with a Tesla Model 3 in the garage, a Powerpack lithium-ion battery on the wall, and a roof made of solar tiles. The tiles would provide energy to the Powerpack, which would provide a steady stream of power to the car and house at all times of day. With the Powerpack already available and Model 3 shipments starting last month, the tile was the last missing piece of his vision.

Tesla solar tiles on a roof.

“I want to emphasize that there’s no Photoshopping on the roof,” Musk said. “That is actually how it looks, and it wasn’t taken by some… ‘it was take some pics with your phone and send them over.’ That’s what we’re talking about here, not some special lighting conditions, pro-photographer situation. And this is version one, and I think this roof’s going look really knockout as we just keep iterating.”

An aerial shot of the roof.

The solar roof works out as cheaper than a new roof even before the energy savings brought by using the roof. When those are factored in, the roof starts to pay for itself:

Tesla’s solar roof price comparison.

These tiles are tough. They’re made of tempered glass, which makes them about three times stronger than slate or asphalt. On top of that, the tiles are capable of defrosting by using a similar method employed by anti-ice wires…

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