In 2017, Tesla created quite a lot of excitement and anticipation over its new solar roof tiles. At the time, Canada was deemed to be the next stop for the innovative new tiles. However, by 2020 the tiles had not yet appeared in Canada. What happened? Will they be coming soon?
Tesla’s tiles are still not available in Canada. However, recent news, including Tesla’s search for Canadian roofers, indicates that they will be soon. Canadian customers can currently make reservations for the tiles, and Elon Musk appears confident that the project will be moving forward.
After three years of waiting, how can we be sure that Tesla will deliver? Our hopes were high in 2017. Is anything different this time? Let’s find out the particulars on what we know about Tesla’s solar roof tiles and their Canadian debut.
What Happened in 2017?
Tesla had everyone’s attention with these solar roof tiles in 2017, so why the three-year wait? While Tesla had hopes of a massive launch in 2017, the project fizzled due to manufacturing and installation problems.
In 2017, Tesla had difficulties bringing their tiles to customers. They had an idea, but the product proved challenging to get to the average consumer.
Since then, Tesla has worked on their tile. From finding ways to cut costs and hiring more installers, Tesla hopes for increased deployment of their tiles. 2021 is the year they expect this work to pay off.
Elon Musk’s Prediction for 2021
In October of this year, the Tesla CEO showed apparent confidence in the solar roof project. Elon Musk declared that “Solar roof is a killer project. That will become obvious next year”.
Musk attributed this confidence to the belief that the changing modern landscape will continue to place more value in energy-friendly products built to last. Based on Musk’s comment, Tesla feels ready to meet this growing demand.
What does this mean? The return of talk about solar roof tiles, after Tesla failed to make much of the product in 2017, indicates that Tesla has not abandoned the project. We can assume that the past three years have been used to work out some kinks and that Tesla is now better prepared to bring this innovation to their customers.
Hiring Canadian Roofers to Install Roof Tiles
Besides words of confidence from the CEO, there is another indication that Canada can soon expect solar roof tiles. Tesla is hiring Canadian roofers.
Tesla has posted jobs for solar roofers in Canada. Hiring Canadians to install solar roofs is a clear indication that Tesla plans to bring their solar roof tiles to Canada soon. They have the product. Now Tesla is hiring people to get that product to Canadian customers.
We can also assume that Tesla’s tiles will soon be arriving in Canada because it is already possible for Canadians to make order reservations for the tiles.
Tesla has a form on its Canadian website where an order can be placed. If they are accepting customers, Tesla must be reasonably confident that they can deliver the tiles within a reasonable time frame.
What Can Canadians Expect from Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles?
Now that you know they are coming, what can Canadians expect from Tesla’s solar roof tiles? Should everyone be making an order reservation for this exciting technology, or is there more for Canadians to consider about Tesla’s tiles?
If you are building a new home, Tesla solar roof tiles could be a great option. However, if you want to reroof your existing home, factors such as angle, orientation, and snowfall could make the tiles inefficient and costly.
Tesla has not yet released information about pricing in Canada because they have not yet released the tiles in Canada. The solar panels cost around 42 USD per square foot. Since not all roof tiles have to be solar, this price can be significantly less: approximately 20 to 25 USD per square foot.
One unique feature the Tesla tiles boast over other energy-saving devices is their aesthetic appeal. Unlike clunky solar panels, Tesla’s tiles offer a sleek modern design. These tiles are designed to make an attractive roof that will add beauty and energy to your home.
There is little doubt that Tesla’s tempered glass roof tiles can handle themselves as a roofing material. They have an excellent fire rating, can withstand winds up to 166 mph, and hail measuring up to 1.75 inches in diameter.
Tesla’s tiles also come with a warranty, so you can rest easy if a tile does break. Tesla has designed a roof that is meant to last a lifetime. After that initial purchase, you will not need to worry about replacing your roof again.
Tesla claims that its solar roofs are cheap because they pay for themselves. The savings on energy bills offset a high upfront cost. While this logic is relatively sound, it does ignore many of the factors that determine how much energy your solar tiles will produce.
Let us remind ourselves where solar tiles get their energy: the sun. It follows then that the more sunlight there is available, the more energy your solar panels will produce.
This requirement immediately presents a drawback for Canadians. The farther you get from the equator, the fewer hours of sunlight a place receives. Canada receives less sunlight than its southern neighbor, the United States, where Tesla is based.
On a large scale, Canadians stand to gain less from solar power than Americans because of this simple fact. There are also individual factors such as roof slant and orientation. A steep roof and a roof facing east or west will get less sunlight and produce less energy.
Thus, Tesla’s claim about their solar roof tiles’ cost-effectiveness may be valid in an ideal situation but not necessarily in every case. Canadians start with a disadvantage due to their northern position. Thus, you should calculate how much sunlight your roof is likely to see before getting excited about the imminent arrival of Tesla’s tiles.
In Canada, it snows quite a bit. Does that mean solar roof tiles will be covered, and hence useless, for a large part of the year?
For starters, solar roofs will melt snow faster than a typical roof. They are black, which causes them to heat faster in the sun, and slick, which allows the snow to slide off easier.
One potential problem snow presents to Tesla’s solar roof tiles has already occurred to Elon Musk. Tesla has announced that it will be possible to make tiles with an included heating system to melt snow automatically.
Although Tesla has not officially released tiles with this heating capability, they will likely be an option when the tiles come to Canada. Tesla already possesses technology that does this for their car windows, so it is safe to assume they can develop something. However, this addition will likely increase the cost.
Snow presents an entirely different problem concerning solar roof tiles. Homes built in areas with heavy snowfall tend to have steep roofs. Their steepness helps encourage the snow to slide off rather than building up and causing damage, but it would also mean a poor angle for gathering sunlight.
Evidence suggests that Canada will see Tesla’s solar roof tiles sometime in 2021. However, thanks to Canada’s fewer hours of sunlight and snow, Tesla may discover that their roof tiles will need some adjustments to be better suited to this new country of customers.