Tesla Solar Roof production to ramp up in 2019, says Elon Musk

Testing takes time. A lot.

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During Tesla's third-quarter earnings call Wednesday, mixed in with news of a new Autopilot computer for its cars coming in the first half of 2019, company CEO Elon Musk also said there's something else on the road map next year: Solar Roofs.  

Announced in October 2016, Tesla's Solar Roof has the look of traditional roofing materials, but uses glass tiles that would generate electricity for a home by way of a solar cell embedded in each tile. In May 2017, the company started taking orders for the roof and the company had planned mass production of the tiles to start that summer. 

Turns out, making and testing solar tiles that last 30 years is not easy. The production was pushed from summer 2017 to summer 2018 and now, Musk said volume production of the solar tile room will start next year

Watch this: Raise the roof: Tesla's solar may cost you less

"There's a lot of engineering that goes into how do you put on the solar tile roof, but with, and not be really labor intensive in doing so. So there's a lot of engineering not just in the tile, but in the way it's done,"  Musk said in the call. 

The company says the Solar Roof will cost $21.85 per square foot of Solar Roof tile for a 3,000-square-foot roof, using the same calculation method in a Consumer Reports roof tile comparison from November 2016. To compete with the costs of a non-solar roof, Tesla, extrapolating from the Consumer Report study, said the Solar Roof would need to come under $24.50.  

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