Tesla starts selling solar roof; says savings to cover costs

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Tesla is now in the business of selling solar roof tiles. The innovative solar roof was introduced a year ago and the makers say it's capable of harvesting solar energy while being reasonably cheaper than common roof tiles. They're also printed a special way so that the solar panels aren't visible from the road - they supposedly look opaque enough to be mistaken for traditional roofing tiles unless you're looking nearly straight down on them.

Elon Musk took to his Twittter handle yesterday to make the announcement saying, "Tesla solar glass roof orders open this afternoon". However, there has been a slight delay.

Since the cost of swapping in Tesla's sun-sapping equivalent is tricky to budget (considering there's no "one size fits all" for roofs), Tesla has installed a handy calculator that churns out a relative figure for how much it could cost to get your very own.

Besides energy savings, CEO Elon Musk said during a press call Wednesday that its roof product will look better than any other roof replacement available.

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"Solar roof can be ordered for nearly any country".

Tesla would launch two types of glass tiles now among the four types which they have announced and shown off to the public previously.

Tuscan and French slate versions will be available to order "in about six months", he added.

"Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to a sustainable energy future by creating products that are so compelling, there is no alternative", says Tesla. According to Tesla's calculator, some roofs will cost more than $75,000. However, not like the common roofs, Tesla's solar roof would generate electricity for a specific place using the solar cell embedded in each tile. Musk said Tesla recommends up to 70% of roof tiles to have solar generating capacity and the others to be dormant. There are even different designs for the tiles - smooth, textured, and slate, while there's also a lifetime warranty on the tiles and guaranteed power production for 30 years. Solar roofs have been talked about and attempted for years, but have never been priced right or worked well enough to become popular. The plunging price of solar in recent years has made it favorable for the wider uptake this form of renewable energy. The active tiles have three main layers, with a base solar cell beneath a colored louver film that's covered by tempered glass.