Tesla will start taking orders for its new solar roof tiles in April, according to company CEO Elon Musk.
Rather than issue an official announcement, however, the billionaire entrepreneur confirmed the plans in response to a question about the solar products on Twitter. (Tesla rarely makes official announcements.)
Musk first revealed its so-called “Solar Roof” products during a launch ceremony in October. The event garnered a lot of media and consumer attention and likely played a pivotal role in helping Musk close Tesla’s controversial acquisition of SolarCity shortly afterwards.
Shaped like regular roof tiles, the solar shingles are made of tempered glass and have built-in solar cells that generate electricity. They will be available in four designs, including Tuscan, slate, textured and smooth glass tiles.
Nonetheless, details about the solar tiles, such as their price and potential delivery schedule, have been scarce. Echoing what Musk said in October, Tesla’s website simply claims the tiles will have a “lower cost than a traditional roof when combined with projected utility bill savings.” The website also currently provides a “waiting list” for possible customers to “order a solar roof when production begins in mid-2017.”
Despite the lack of details, though, Tesla’s Solar Roof products have helped rejuvenate interest in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), a fledgling solar market segment. Although several viable providers remain in the BIPV space, none has had major commercial success thus far, and a number of companies have exited the segment within the past couple of years.
This article was originally featured on solarindustrymag.com.