Elon Musk, Tesla Launches Sleek Solar Roof

Shelby Rogers

solar1[Image Courtesy of Tesla]

Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk announced yesterday he'll be adding solar-powered roofing tiles to his pursuit of cleaner energy.

"This is sort of the integrated future. An electric car, a Powerwall and a solar roof. The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated," Musk said.

The solar tiles have an integrated system that eliminates the need for shingles over top traditional roofing tiles. The photovoltaic cells are embedded into the roof for a seamless coverage.

solar4[Image Courtesy of Tesla]

SolarCity's foray into solar panels comes at quite a risk, as the technology hasn't succeeded well in the public market. Dow Chemical recently announced they'll stop selling solar shingles it launched five years ago.

The solar roof partners with an onsite energy storage system dubbed Tesla's Powerwall system. The $5,500 system connects to the solar roof as well as other energy sources.

solar2[Image Courtesy of Tesla]

The SolarCity and Tesla Merger

As of now, the product serves as a joint effort between SolarCity and Tesla, as the two companies agreed to a $2.6 billion merger. However, litigation has stymied any movement on bringing the two companies together.

“That they are separate at all, despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history,” he wrote on the Tesla blog. “Now that Tesla is ready to scale Powerwall and SolarCity is ready to provide highly differentiated solar, the time has come to bring them together.”

With the reveal yesterday, he elaborated by saying:

“Tesla is not just a car company. The real purpose of Tesla is to innovate the future of power. Cars are just part of the solution.”

solar3[Image Courtesy of Tesla]

Both founders of Tesla and SolarCity are cousins of Elon Musk. SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive told Reuters that the solar roofs could have a five percent share of the roof market within two years.

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