Whatever happened to Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles?
Elon Musk unveiled prototypes of Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles In October 2016. They came in four styles that looked just like normal roofing material but were essentially miniaturized versions of traditional solar panels.
The announcement helped Tesla justify its $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity one month later and represented Musk’s vision for what the businesses could do together.
It’s been almost two years since then. So where are the tiles?
“We now have several hundred homes with the Solar Roof on them, and that’s going well. It takes a while to just confirm that the Solar Roof is going to last for 30 years and all the details work out,” Musk said on Tesla’s Q2 earnings call in August.
As of May, only 12 Tesla tiled roofs were connected to the grid, all in Northern California, according to Reuters. Tesla declined to give an updated figure, but the company later clarified that Musk’s “several hundred homes” comment refers to roofs that are scheduled for installation or are partially installed.
Tesla has been accepting $1,000 deposits for the roof tiles since May 2017. But at that point, the company wasn’t even close to mass producing them.
It established a factory in Buffalo, New York to make the tiles, but it’s not running at full capacity yet. At the company’s most recent annual shareholder meeting, Musk blamed ongoing delays on a need for more testing.