It's a genius partnership that will make getting Elon Musk's design-forward solar products into our homes as efficiently as buying DIY supplies: Tesla and Home Depot just announced a partnership that will make its solar panels and Powerwalls available in 800 stores by July 2018, with solar roofs coming as production (and demand) ramps up.
Initially, the Home Depot kiosks will be limited to selling Tesla solar panels and Tesla Powerwalls, with the Tesla Solar Roof coming later — a genius plan to easily and efficiently get more solar into more homes as Elon Musk's production ramps up and more product lines are added. Bloomberg reports that Tesla is in distribution talks with Lowe's, as well.
Ever since Tesla first announced its solar roof tiles in October 2016, we've been envisioning a future where the rooflines of neighborhoods everywhere are covered in conductive, energy-capturing green technology — but without the awkward visual interruptions of traditional solar panels.
And, Tesla's solar products are not just less ugly, they're actually pretty. Tesla went to market with four styles of solar roof tiles in July of last year — (left to right) Tuscan, Slate, Textured, and Smooth — and the Powerwall home battery (into which one would store all that captured energy) is as sleek and slim as a giant white Apple product.
The quartz glass (invented in partnership with 3M) is super durable, and has two to three times the longevity of an average asphalt roof — plus a lifetime warranty from Tesla. "We offer the best warranty in the industry — the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first," a Tesla rep told Inverse.
Plus, when you pair the installation costs with the energy savings, it becomes less expensive than a regular asphalt roof, too, according to the advanced math done by Consumer Reports even before Tesla announced its actual pricing. (Which was announced below their estimations, at $21.85 per square foot against a projected $24.50).
Because of the laws of supply and demand, this new nationwide distribution and marketing partnership with Home Depot (followed possibly by Lowe's, and then others) can only mean that over time those costs — including the additional $6,500 for a Powerwall — will also come down. Just when we need it most, since the price of traditional solar panels went up by 30 percent this month — and the only other mainstream option for affordable solar is IKEA.
According to the Home Depot press release, interested customers can confirm Tesla product availability in their area starting on Wednesday, February 7th at HomeDepot.com.