According to The Australian Financial Review, fancy an inconspicuous Tesla solar roof instead of an ungainly collection of shiny blue panels on your cherished slate or terracotta tiles?
You can put your foot on one by slapping down a $1310 "reservation payment" – not a full deposit – on the Tesla solar roof website for delivery in Australia next year.
They have the top hail, wind and fire ratings available in the US, the highest glass-coating standard, and are three times stronger than typical American tiles, Tesla says.
A Tesla solar roof will be more expensive than adding solar panels to a conventional roof, making it more likely to appeal to high-income "early adopters" in the early phase – just like Tesla electric vehicles and Tesla Powerwall home storage batteries.
"Tesla's solar tiles are an exciting product that will appeal to the high end of the market – much like their electric cars," said Kobad Bavnhagri, head of Australia for Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
"And when it comes to housing, Australians know how to dish out the cash. A high-tech and flash-looking solar roof is bound to make all the auction bidders even more excited."
The glass tiles allow the sun's rays to pass straight through to conventional solar panels. "Active" solar tiles are about $US42 a square foot (just less than $600 a square metre) and inactive tiles $US11 a square foot ($250 a square metre).
The launch brings Tesla closer to its vision of a clean energy house with solar roof tiles, Tesla battery and Tesla electric vehicle, and comes ahead of expectations and below the expected cost.
"These are really the three legs of the stool for a sustainable energy future," Tesla founder Elon Musk said in a blog post.
Because Australia has the world's strongest take-up of rooftop solar – with about 1.7 million homes – and the company expects initial take-up here to be strongest in newly built homes and residential developments.
"Australia has a strong uptake of residential solar, one of the highest in the world. Solar roof will provide new housing developments the ability to generate and then store energy with the Tesla Powerwall, which can then power both the home at night or charge sustainable transport," a Tesla spokesman said.
"We are already seeing many real estate developers installing Tesla Powerwall in home packages today to assist homeowners in moving toward a more sustainable future."
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