Tesla is now accepting deposits for its new solar roof system, offering an "infinity" warranty for tiles that integrate solar power into roof coverings. Installations will begin in June, the company says.
Resembling normal roofing shingles, the solar tiles will be offered in a variety of styles, from slate and terra cotta to smooth or textured dark gray. On its website, Tesla is taking $1,000 deposits toward work that includes removing a house's existing roof, installing the solar tiles and equipping the home with a battery to store power.
Potential customers can use the company's online tool to estimate the solar roof's costs and savings, based on their roof's square footage. The results, which draw on Google's Project Sunroof, vary according to energy costs and other factors.
The solar roof tiles are made of quartz glass. But not all tiles on a house with the system will be actively gathering the sun's energy. Tesla's plan calls for mixing solar and nonsolar tiles. From the street, the company says, the two look identical.
For a two-story house in Raleigh, N.C., with 2,467 square feet — the median size of a new, single-family home in the U.S., according to recent Census Bureau data — the upfront cost of replacing a roof with the solar tile system comes to $46,400, according to Tesla's online tool.