The Tesla solar roof tiles the company unveiled last year, which look like regular roof tiles and yet have roughly equivalent efficiency of traditional solar power gathering cells, will be up for order starting in April, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
These are a key step in Tesla’s combined vision for its solar energy generation and storage business, along with its electric vehicle operations. The solar tiles are aimed at popularizing the tech, by turning it from something that appeals to hardcore techies and green energy enthusiasts, to a practical option for everyday homeowners just looking to either save money, increase the resale value of their homes, or just take more direct control over their energy needs.
Tesla’s solar tile designs include four visual styles, which mimic four different types of traditional roofing material, but the company said that only one or two of these will be available at first. The cost of the roof solution will be at or under that of a traditional new roof for a home – even before you factor in energy cost savings, according to news shared by Musk in November.
Installations won’t necessary start in April – it’s likely that Tesla will build up a queue via pre-orders and then begin installation later on. Volume production is expected to start at some point in 2017.