Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has revealed the company's plans to introduce solar roof panels that look quite different from traditional solar panels.
Solar Roof Panels And Powerwall
On Friday, Tesla and SolarCity officially announced the integrated solar roof panels and Powerwall product, which will be available for individual use. Tesla and SolarCity are expected to merge, and the availability of the solar roof panels only depends on how quickly the merger is completed.
The solar roof panels being developed by Tesla are made of textured glass tiles with integrated solar cells. From outside, they look similar to regular roofing tiles; however, they can generate energy from sunlight.
Tesla also displayed model homes that had the Powerwall mounted on the side and a number of custom roofs with photovoltaic cells masked as tiles.
"You really need to make solar panels as appealing as electric cars have become," said Musk. "The goal is to have a roof that's less than the installed cost of a roof plus electricity."
During a private conversation with journalists, Musk declined to reveal the price of the solar roof. He said that it will not make sense for people to replace their old roof with Tesla solar roof panels; however, it could benefit those who are planning to replace their roof.
Although Tesla is waiting for the merger with SolarCity to start installing the novel solar roof tiles, Musk said that the company aims to install the new roofs as early as next summer.
Solar Roof Tile Variants
Musk also revealed that the solar roof panels will be available in a number of versions to suit personal preference. The panels will be available in Smooth Glass Tile, Textured Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile and Slate Glass Tile variants. The company suggests that the glass tiles are comparatively more durable than the conventional roof tile, and will be suitable even in regions that get hail.
Harvesting solar energy has become important at a time when global warming is on the rise.
"The sun provides more than enough energy in just one hour to supply our planet's energy needs for an entire year. Your home can capture this free, abundant energy source through rooftop solar tiles, turning sunlight into electricity for immediate use or storage in a Powerwall battery," says Tesla.
Musk added that the upcoming solar energy solution from Tesla will be available in three parts: generation (solar panels), storage (batteries) and transportation (electric cars). The company will sell all these three products via the Tesla brand.