Curiosity is high on Tesla's solar roof as a durable product. But a perspective exists that it is quite costly despite the company trying to project it as moderate in terms of costs.
There is a consensus that Tesla solar roof will enjoy high demand in the time ahead. A cost-benefit analysis is attempted here to see how the costs align with the benefits.
Perception of high costs
Reports say consumers are getting the perception that Tesla Solar Roof is costly. But analysts contend that a broader perspective that it is not a typical roof, rather, a two in one system would justify its apparent cost.
Tesla Solar Roof is essentially a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system that generates power and also serves as a physical roof for sheltering a house.
Offering twin properties-one as a power generator and as a physical roof with ample aesthetics, Tesla solar roof offers accountability in both fronts with suitable warranties.
As a roof, Tesla Solar Roof offers infinite warranty or the life of the home, whichever comes first.
Now the moot point is the promise of lower cost or cost savings offered by Tesla CEO Elon Musk while unveiling the solar roof concept in 2016. He said the company's goal is to offer the Solar Roof tile system as a cost-effective option in such a way it would equal the cost of the best shingle roof plus a high electricity bill.
How does the cost work out?
Normally, the average cost of any new roof will be $10,000 to $50,000 depending on the material used.
Composite shingle roofs and tile roofs may be cheap but they come nowhere near the durability that Tesla solar roof is offering thanks to the tempered glass tiles it comprises.
The Tesla solar roof offers two types of guarantees-- solar production from the roof for 25 years. That guarantee is a standard across the industry.
This saves the consumer from the damage of subpar solar cells or fading cells that affect the power generation aspect in the system. The second warranty comes from the physical roof structure.
For an onlooker, Tesla's solar price may look high, but it is sensible for homeowners if the detailed break up is understood from a long term perspective.
As already reported, Tesla is ramping up the volume production Solar Roof tiles and is trying to make it more appealing by making them more attractive.
CEO Elon Musk has said some changes have also been made to the product to make it last for 30 years.
Long term leveraging of initial high costs
An explicit analysis of a quote handed by Tesla to a prospective customer on solar roof installation shows both the awe of seeing a big cost and the relief of leveraging that cost from the long term savings.
For a 9.45 kW system on a 1,862 square foot roof, Tesla's charge is $64,634 for the solar roof. Add to that $10,050 for a Powerwall and another $10,630 for roof and site repairs.
That takes to a total of $85,314 for the entire solar roof system and work. Of course, it looks quite whopping.
In the quote, Tesla tells the homeowner that he would get a $15,727 federal tax credit and the value of the energy over 30 years will come to $65,466.
Based on that calculus, the net price of the system for over 30 years is $4,121.
For the given project, Tesla offers new custom fittings, vents, and skylights to gel with the solar roof. That is why the figure $85,000 is not apt for further discounting.
Tesla explains that cost is legitimate and financially sensible to the project's owner.
At the recent shareholder's meeting of Tesla, CEO Musk said Tesla is working on longevity test of the new version of is solar roof (V3) tiles and the solar product' installation is progressing in 8 states.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.