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Tesla finally begins production of its high-tech solar roofs

10 January 2018

We've reached out to Tesla for confirmation.

Along with this milestone, the company reports that it has begun installation of the Solar Roof for "non-employee homeowners", a reference to the pilot projects which were installed on the homes of top executives and other employees. Tesla initially expected the rollout of the solar shingles to begin in 2017, with the manufacturing of the first two types of tiles - smooth and textured - to start during summer. This ramp-up seems to be well within Tesla CEO Elon Musk's expectations. Due to unforeseen delays, however, the mass production and installation of the shingles was ultimately pushed back, first to late 2017, and later, to 2018.

Smooth Solar Roof
Smooth Solar Roof

We have seen Tesla starting to install more solar roof systems in recent months, but we were told that it was still only for employees at that time. And, despite being highly productive, Fremont factory was unable to match up to Tesla's Gigafactory 2 in terms of scale and pace of production.

The "Gigafactory 2" will produce solar PV cells and modules under a partnership between Tesla Inc and Panasonic, which will be responsible for the manufacturing of solar cells to look like computer chips.

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Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Hugh Bromley believes that the Solar Tiles' appeal will not only be limited to the United States, as other countries such as Australia might prove to be lucrative markets for the Silicon Valley-based energy company.

These particular roof tiles aim to change the way that rooftop solar installations are perceived, as they will be able to produce clean electricity without compromising the "aesthetic" side of the roof replacing conventional bricks with energy-generating ones. You can customize what percentage of your roof tiles are solar in their online tool; the max is 70 percent. Moreover, the tempered glass of the tiles strengthens their durability and makes them capable of surviving force in contrast to the traditional terracotta and slate roofs.

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The Model 3 sedan has been plagued by production delays and missed schedule.

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Tesla finally begins production of its high-tech solar roofs