Tesla will begin taking orders for its much-awaited solar roof tiles next month, according to Elon Musk, but that doesn’t mean you’ll see them on your block any time soon.
First, the good news: Yes, orders will be taken. Musk confirmed on Twitter that you can order the tiles, which caught the eyes of energy experts and homeowners last year, this April.
@HolsMichael Start taking orders in April— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2017
We previously covered the new solar roofing program during a keynote Musk gave last year. The solar cells are made of special materials meant to mimic common styles of roof from the ground while being transparent at the angle that the sun’s light would be striking them.
It’s expected to be an equally affordable and more durable alternative to covering your roof in roofing and then covering it in solar panels, as current solar homeowners do now.
But while what we know about Musk’s offering makes it sound like an exciting advance in solar home technology, at this point we’ve yet to see a finished product in action.
Plenty of questions still remain. Neither Musk’s tweet nor any materials released by Tesla have actually shown what the ordering capacity will look like, meaning even if they’re taking orders in the next 30 days, it might be months before those orders are fulfilled.
As USA Today pointed out earlier this week:
“Tesla has a reputation for accepting orders for an extended period before delivering products. For example, the company began accepting refundable deposits for the Model 3 electric vehicle in March 2016 but initial production vehicles won't hit until at least summer 2017. Some buyers could wait years to receive the vehicle, analysts have said.”
More importantly, they might also decline to take public orders and instead work with larger companies for bulk purchases. This is all speculation because we really just don’t know what’s in store yet. The Twitter user in question, who remarked that he hoped his roof would survive long enough to wait, may want to do some repairs in the meantime.