There's one Tesla product that I'll definitely buy as soon as possible - and it's not the Model 3


elon musk solar roof


Elon Musk shows off solar roof tiles.

Tesla makes sexy electric cars that can outrun Ferraris and Lamborghinis. It's a darling of Silicon Valley, and CEO Elon Musk is seemingly on President Donald Trump's good side.


The company has a new $35,000 car slated to arrive later this year, and it can even sell you a battery to put in your garage to use for backup power.

All that stuff is great, but in the decade that I've been covering Tesla and driving its cars, there's only one product that I'm 100% certain I'm going to buy as soon as I can.

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It's the solar roof.

That's right, Tesla newest and most unproven product, an outgrowth of the $2.1-billion merger with SolarCity that was finalized last year. Musk wrapped up 2016 with a presentation of the new roof product (on a studio backlot in Hollywood!) - a product that can entirely replace an existing roof, with a variety of attractive tiles that look just like traditional roofing materials.


The solar roof is likely to be pretty expensive, at least at first, just as Tesla's cars have been quite pricey ($100,000 in average). When it comes to replacing a roof, which homeowners have to do at least once during the life of a 30-year mortgage, many folks aren't going to pony up the bucks.

But I am.

All the time, I look at my house, I look at my roof, I look at the sun, and I think I should get some solar panels.

A solar roof means that I don't have to go the old-school route. I bought my house with a new roof, but it will need to be replaced at some point. So if Tesla is still around by the time I need a new one, I'll install a solar roof and pay a lot less than what it costs at launch.

solar roof tesla


An installed solar roof.


A solar roof makes much more sense to me economically than a Tesla vehicle. It also dovetails more neatly with Tesla Energy, the company's power-storage business. As far as a vehicle goes, I can get a reliable gas-electric hybrid (a plug-in hybrid, even) for far less than $35,000. I admire Tesla cars, but I don't need or lust after one.

But boy, do I lust after a solar roof. Then logic is simple: my house needs a roof - so why shouldn't it be a solar roof? With a Tesla battery in my basement or garage, I'll have backup power. And as far as my power costs go, the roof will help. It might not eliminate my electricity bill, but every little bit helps. I have three kids to get through college!

You might ask if I will definitely go Tesla for my solar roofing needs, given that I'm not going to be making this purchase until 2025 at the earliest: Won't there be other company's in the space by then?

Maybe, but Tesla's roof has a strong first-move advantage, even though conceptually the tech isn't radically new, and evidently there are some other players on the scene. Tesla is already the Apple of electric cars. Now it will be the Apple of solar roofs.

And I don't want the Android of solar roofs.


So get ready to sign me up for a roof, Elon.

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