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The company said on its website that the product will offer a "lower cost than a traditional roof when combined with projected utility bill savings". In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Tesla and SolarCity executives said the roof would be cheaper, on the whole, than installing a regular tile roof (although not cheaper than an asphalt roof). The tiles are now available in grey smooth glass and black textured glass, and slate glass and Tuscan glass will arrive in 2018.

Meanwhile, a blog post on Tesla's website also confirmed the United States and overseas timelines for the solar panel installations and the roof styles.

The roof is guaranteed for the life of a home, longer than the 20-year lifespan for a typical, non-solar roof, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says.

As part of today's launch, Tesla is also pushing the sale of its Powerwall 2.0 home battery system to customers. And I think something similar needs to happen to solar.

The company will start shipping and installation of solar roofs later this year in the US and in 2018 for other countries.

The solar tiles that make up the roof were created to be extremely durable - they're made of glass, after all. Should you change your mind, Tesla says the deposit is fully refundable until you make either a purchase or an installation agreement.

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"Solar Roof complements a home's architecture while turning sunlight into electricity", said Tesla's post. But eventually all production will move to a joint Tesla and Panasonic Corp. factory in Buffalo, New York.

"These are really the three legs of the stool for a sustainable energy future", Musk said, according to Bloomberg.

Some analysts had expressed skepticism that Tesla's innovative roofs could be priced competitively, but it again showed itself determined to prove naysayers wrong.

Tesla, of course, acquired SolarCity in a deal worth $US2.1 billion in November 2016, shortly after it revealed the solar shingles. There, they can also calculate the estimated upfront cost of a solar roof.

Musk had initially claimed that the pricing patterns would amount to the cost of a standard roof "plus electricity". "Why would you get anything else?" The company will also sell Solar Roof tiles without the photovoltaic cells embedded in them, which is said to be the costly elements.

Determining the cost of a solar roof take into account how much of the roof can be active solar tile, and how much will just be the non-active glass tiles.