Telsa recently released its first quarter 2017 financial results and told shareholders it will start “pilot manufacturing” the first tiles that will be utilized on their new solar roofs by the end of this summer.
The company told shareholders it is partnering with Panasonic, which will provide capital and operational support to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) cells. Telsa said this will allow high volume integrated tile and PV cell production.
Most of the production is expected to be at the Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York. That is where Panasonic is currently investing $250 million in manufacturing PV cells for both Tesla’s solar roof tiles and an exclusive solar panel.
Telsa also plans expansion of its retail and service network which is being expanded for the upcoming launch of its electric car the Model 3. But it will also be using the network to sell its solar products. They told shareholders that they plan to staff over 70 stores both in the United States and abroad.
There are relatively few technical details available for Tesla’s solar roof shingles. Tesla has not revealed how efficiently the panels will generate power, what kind of warranty the company will offer, or how they will be installed.
Tesla hasn’t provided any information about durability or stress tests – standard information that is publicly available from most solar panel manufacturers. The solar cell embedded in Tesla roof tiles isn’t visible from the street, unlike a traditional solar panel.
Tesla also hasn’t released any official pricing information for their solar roof tiles. However, their own website states that the solar roof tiles will have a lower cost than a traditional roof when combined with projected utility bill savings.
Multiple journalists have attempted to come up with price estimates based on Tesla’s guidance, and they’ve all come to the same conclusion: the Tesla solar roof, like most of Tesla’s other products, will be a high-end purchase that comes with a premium price tag.