Tesla recently released images of new solar roofing tiles on its website. While the company made headlines when 'partnering' with SolarCity on its solar tiles, this seems to be a sleeker upgrade. This new solar segment should appeal to homeowners who already have a roof and don't want to go through the intensive process of replacing preexisting shingles with solar tiles.
[Image Source: Tesla]
The company said on its website that it wants these panels to have a "sleek, low-profile design."
"Our solar panels blend into your roof with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware," it said. "The result is a clean, streamlined look."
Partnership between Tesla and Panasonic
Panasonic produces the new panels. It comes as part of the company's deal with Tesla at the Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York. Tesla clarified the terms of the agreement last month after rumors swirled that Panasonic would borrow the Gigafactory but not produce Tesla solar tiles:
"Tesla will oversee factory operations in Buffalo, and will manufacture solar roof tiles there. Panasonic will manufacture solar cells at the factory, with support from the Silevo team, including cells for the solar roof tiles that will be a hybrid of the Panasonic and Silevo architecture. Panasonic will also manufacture solar panels in Buffalo."
Tesla quietly added images of the solar roofing option on its website over the weekend. Electrek noted the fresh options are 325-watt, but that's about all the public gets in specs. Panasonic's other 325-watt panels used by other installers have a 25-year power output warranty and a nearly 22 percent efficiency. We can expect the Tesla models to offer more or less the same details.
[Image Source: Tesla]
The Tesla solar roofing panels also utilize a SolarCity system developed by Zep Solar. The smaller Zep Solar company was acquired by SolarCity, and then SolarCity was acquired by Tesla. Zep co-founder Daniel Flanigan serves as senior director of solar systems product design for Tesla. Flanigan and his teams managed to cut the installation times of SolarCity products down considerably when compared with traditional roofing.
Tesla is currently taking orders for the SolarCity solar tiles. Interested parties can also request a custom quote.