Wait for Tesla Solar Roof or get solar panels now?

Tesla Solar Tiles. Are they ever coming?

In 2016 when Elon Musk launched his revolutionary concept for solar tiles, it captured the imagination of homeowners everywhere, including in Australia.

In case you didn’t know, Tesla solar tiles are a roofing material that also produces solar electricity. And they look pretty fabulous.

Back in 2016, the question was: When can I get them?

Now, six years on, that’s still what many Australians are wondering.

The good news is progress is happening. Tesla is now taking orders from US customers with installations promised this year.

But what about in Australia? Are we ever going to get the Tesla solar tiles? And if we do, how much are they going to cost?

On this blog:

  • What is a solar tile?
  • Pros and cons of solar tiles
  • How much do Tesla solar tiles cost?
  • What types of houses are solar tiles most suitable for?
  • Should I wait for solar tiles – or get solar panels now?

What is a solar tile?

Tesla solar tiles are roofing tiles that contain solar cells. They are made with slim photovoltaic (PV) sheets which are covered with a colour louver film. This film reflects the desired colour of the roof when viewed from the ground. On top is tempered glass, strengthened to provide high levels of durability.

Tesla solar tiles generate solar electricity at efficiency levels of close to 20 per cent, comparable with most solar panels. They are also extremely robust and fully weather resistant.

Tesla solar tiles come in a variety of finishes offering a high level of visual appeal.

For people who have been put off installing solar panels as they don’t like the look of them, the Tesla Solar Roof provides a roofing solution which is architecturally stunning and will complement the aesthetic of most homes.

Pros and cons of solar tiles

Without doubt, solar tiles are a fabulous concept with lots of advantages. However there are some disadvantages – primarily cost and availability – that are delaying uptake.

Tesla Solar Tiles: Pros and Cons


Pros Cons
Look great; sleek and unobtrusive More expensive than solar panels
Add to the visual appeal of your home Requires entire roof replacement
All the benefits of solar panels, without the panels Limited styles
3x stronger than standard tiles Power output limited by roof orientation
Can last longer than an average roof Won’t produce as much electricity as traditional solar panels
All-weather protection Take longer to install than solar panels
Reduced electricity bills Limited worldwide availability
Easier to maintain than solar panels

How much do Tesla solar tiles cost?

No prices have been provided for the Tesla solar tiles in Australia yet. But based on an Electrek article updated in February 2022, a typical US homeowner can expect to pay US $21.85 per square foot for a Tesla Solar Roof.

Converting US pricing to Australian dollars, this works out as AUD $30.44 per square foot. Converting this to square metres, the cost comes to AUD $327.53 per square metre.

That’s a lot in anyone’s books!

When compared to the average cost of installing a new Colorbond roof on an Australian home – which is $70 per square metre – Tesla solar tiles are around 4 and a half times more expensive.

Here’s how the prices compare for an Australian home with a 200-metre square roof.

Estimated price for Tesla solar tiles in Australia vs Colorbond roof

Tesla solar tiles (approx. price) Colorbond roof (approx.)
Cost per square metre $327.53 $70
Cost for 200 square metre roof $65,400 $14,000

It’s worth re-emphasising that AUD prices for the Tesla Solar Roof are guesstimates. Without any published pricing for the Australian market, we only have the US pricing as a guide. When the Tesla Solar Roof becomes available in Australia, prices could well be quite different.

Can I buy solar tiles now?

For Australian households, the answer is no. As of 28 February 2022, it is not yet possible to purchase the Tesla Solar Roof in Australia.

However, on the Tesla AU website, you can register for updates about the Tesla Solar Roof.

However, there is no indication when the Tesla Solar Roof will be available to Australian households, or the price.

Looking at the Tesla US website, Tesla is taking orders from US homeowners now requesting a $1,000 USD deposit.

In the USA, Tesla says it will manage the entire “Solar Roof experience—from the removal of your existing roof through design, installation, operations and maintenance of the new Solar Roof.”

Hopefully, once Tesla has rolled out its solar tiles in the US it will turn its attention to Australia.

What types of houses are most suited to solar tiles?

The Tesla Solar Roof is ideal for people building a new home who want to incorporate solar generation into their roofing material.

The types of homes the Tesla Solar Roof is likely to be most suited to are:

  • Where there is full sun on the roof
  • Where the roof is between 10 and 25 degree pitch
  • Where the visual aesthetic of the roof is of major importance
  • Where budget is not a limiting factor

Should I wait for the Tesla Solar Roof or get solar panels now?

Given that there is no release date for Tesla solar tiles in Australia, we recommend installing solar panels now.

That way you start saving on your electricity bills without delay. What’s more, the cost of installing a solar panels will be far less than solar tiles.

When it comes to the visual aesthetic, all solar panels we install are black and complement the look of most homes.

For those interested in a pure-black panel – with absolutely no silver lines or silver frame – we can also supply that on request.

Whilst the Tesla Solar Roof is an amazing concept, the costs and benefits are unlikely to stack up for a little while yet.

In the meantime, electricity bills continue to roll in and prices are rising.

And with solar panels rebates at attractive levels – but reducing on an annual basis – it makes sense to get solar installed now, rather than wait.

Get in touch

If you’d like a quote for a solar panels system that’s going to cut your energy bills and complement the look of your home, get in touch.

Specialized Solar & Electrical is a Clean Energy Council accredited Solar Retailer with a team of fully accredited solar installers and electricians. One of the fastest growing solar companies in Victoria and NSW, we have built a strong reputation for outstanding quality and customer service.

That’s one of the reasons why thousands of customers – residential, commercial and government – have chosen Specialized Solar as their solar energy provider.