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Elon Musk on track to world domination, Tesla’s solar panels shipping to Australia in 2018

Tesla has begun taking deposits ($AUD 1,310) for its revolutionary solar roof tiles and will begin installing them for U.S. customers this summer.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk first unveiled the solar tiles in October and tweeted last week that orders had opened.

He also added that the tiles would be available in almost any country, beginning with the U.S.

Although Australian customers will have to wait until 2018, the Tesla website states that the deposit is “fully refundable” until you enter into a “purchase installation agreement.”

According to Tesla, the solar roof tiles will first sell in “Textured” and “Smooth”. Two more styles, “Tuscan” and “Slate” will ship in late 2018, which could mean 2019 for Australian customers.

In a blog post from last July, Musk wrote that the solar roof tiles were part of a “master plan” that he came up with 10 years ago. It went as follows:

1. Create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive
2. Use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price
3. Use that money to create an affordable, high volume car
4. And…
5. Provide solar power. No kidding, this has literally been on our website for 10 years.

He really makes the rest of us look pretty bad, doesn’t he?

By using an integrated Tesla Powerwall unit, Musk pledges that the tiles will be more durable than a typical roof, a third lighter and ultimately cheaper once you factor in those future savings on power bills.

Tesla is REALLY backing the durability part too, offering the best warranty in the industry – “the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first”. Infinity, huh? Nice.

Solar Calculator, a site dedicated to assisting Australians in converting to solar, estimates that the Powerwall battery unit can be installed in Australian homes for around $AUD 11,000- 12,000.

On top of that, you will have to buy the tiles, of course. Bloomberg crunched some numbers and found an average 185 square meter home in New York state would cost around $AUD 67,000 to tile.

Not cheap – and certainly more expensive than regular tiling – but this has the added bonus of saving your power bill and The World. If you got in early and used them for 20 years, you’d probably get your money back. But what if they need upgrading? Technology moves fast.

All up, that would put the cost of the whole project somewhere between $AUD 80,000 – $AUD 150,000, depending on the size of your home. It could also be more too. Knowing our government they’ll tax it heavily because the future is clearly in coal, right?

If the electric cars and solar panels were Musk’s only two projects, we’d call him amazing. But he is also working on sending us to Mars, connecting our brains to computers and revolutionising transportation. When does the guy sleep?

Business Insider noted that Musk gave some great career advice in a recent TED Talk. Basically, it boils down to this: if you are not progressing, you’re regressing; so keep moving forward.

“People are mistaken when they think that technology just automatically improves. It does not automatically improve. It only improves if a lot of people work very hard to make it better, and actually it will, I think, by itself degrade, actually”, Musk said.

You have to admire the guy. He is relentless.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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Comment (2)


    Monday 15 May 2017

    Is Elon Musk telling a customer not to refurbish and repair? That is shocking, I don’t want to invest in products that only last 18months! Not for my car or my roof – that is not sustainable nor environmentally friendly.



      Tuesday 16 May 2017

      What Elon is saying is that they wont upgrade older Teslas to the new tech of newer versions. There is a lot to be replaced and a lot will become defunct trash. The old gear will be thrown away and wasted when it worked perfectly fine. They repair Teslas, but they wont gut one to put in the new tech from newer generations when it will probably cost more than the car upfront and is just a huge waste of time, effort and money when there is no good reason to do so. So no, the cars will last a lot longer than 18 months as you say, they will release new generations every 12-18 months. Just like whatever car you drive now – nothing new. Sell the Tesla and buy a new one if it matters to you. No wasted components and you get the latest and greatest without waste.

      Have a think about that.