Tesla is currently installing its solar roof product in eight states, according to Elon Musk, speaking at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. The solar roof-tile project has had a relatively long genesis since being unveiled three years ago, in 2016.
In 2017, the company claimed its first-ever installations of the Tesla solar roof, after opening up orders for the product in the second quarter of that year. Musk noted during the company’s Q2 2017 earnings call that both himself and Tesla CTO JB Straubel had the tiles installed and operating on their homes.
The company also announced last year that it had entered into a partnership with Home Depot to sell its solar panels, along with its PowerWall home battery, but that was about its traditional panels specifically, not the new tile product. The tiles are designed to look like high-quality home tiles people use currently, with integrated solar panels that are not easily identified from ground level, in order to provide a more aesthetically pleasing solution.
In addition to having installations run in eight states, Musk said the solar roof product is currently on version three, and that this version is very exciting to him because it offers a chance of being at cost parity with an equivalent entry-level cheap traditional tile, when you include the cost of utilities you’d be saving by generating your own power instead.
Regarding timelines for wider rollout of the solar roof products at the costs he anticipates, his own words probably say it best: “I’m sometimes a little optimistic about time frames — it’s time you knew,” he joked at the meeting.