This week was chock full of advanced energy news. First up, from Fortune, the fastest-growing job in the United States is an advanced energy job! The magazine reported on a study published this week by personal finance company SmartAsset that names solar photovoltaic installer as the fastest-growing job in America between 2012 and 2016. The study used data from the Bureau of Labor statistics and did not take projections into account. SmartAsset found that residential solar panel installers make about $42,500 on average. Then there are the much-anticipated (and still awaited) Tesla solar roofs going on sale, and electric trucks on the move.
Next, Tesla made headlines simply by debuting a new order page on the company’s website: That’s right, the company is taking orders for the solar tiles that Elon Musk is betting will be an attractive alternative to rooftop solar – and even to a traditional roof shingle. Two out of the four types of tile previously announced, black glass smooth and textured, will be available first, with the Tuscan and French slate tiles in six months, according to Musk. The tiles will be manufactured at the company’s Buffalo, N.Y., Gigafactory, in partnership with Panasonic.
This means we finally have some answers to those pesky unanswered questions about the solar roof, especially about price. Greentech Media reports the pricing of the solar roof at about $21.85 per square foot for an average American home, making it comparable to the cost of a new roof entirely.
And the warranty? Well, much like diamonds in the Shirley Bassey song, it’s forever. “We offer the best warranty in the industry – the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.” Listen, infinity is a long time. The house is going to win out, every time. That said, I’m reminded of the words of the singer who leads off the solar roof announcement in this video: “Nothing better than forever, baby, we can have it all.”
Speaking of Tesla, the company is looking to get into the business of the best-selling light-duty vehicle in America: the truck. The pickup truck and semi have joined the ranks of future Tesla vehicles, but it will likely be years before they get an order page on the Tesla website.
In the meantime, other companies are making waves with electric trucks, including the small startup Workhorse and American auto manufacturing giant Ford, which announced earlier this year that it would be releasing an all-electric SUV with a range of 300 miles, as well as a hybrid version of its best-selling F-150 pickup truck. The F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for more than three decades. According to the company, F-Series sales totaled 820,799 trucks in 2016, or more than six times the total number of EVs sold between November 2015 and November 2016. Meanwhile, as The Dallas News points out, “Chevy beat Tesla in the race to get 200 miles of range without breaking the bank,” with the company’s new Bolt EV.
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