Tesla Update: Tesla Unveils New Solar Roof Tiles

By Edge Ison , Oct 29, 2016 04:34 AM EDT

Tesla is officially entering the roofing business with the introduction of the solar roof. Tesla unveiled the solar roof tiles at an event held at the Universal Studios particularly along Wisteria Lane of Desperate Housewives fame.

The reveal comes a few weeks before shareholders decide to go through with the merger or not. As it stands, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is confident of the merger or this is one way to convince shareholders that the two companies are better off together.

Tesla unveiled four kinds or styles of solar roofing; namely, Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile and the Smooth Glass Tile. During the event, Musk showed how durable the solar roof tiles are by dropping weight on different roof tiles. While the clay and terra cotta tiles shattered, the solar roof tile did not.

According to a report, Musk admitted that the solar tiles have two percent loss on efficiency as compare to a conventional solar panel. He did stress that they are currently working with 3M to improve the tiles' coating.

Interested parties might wait a little longer as Tesla hasn't announced the prices yet. They did indicate that the pricing will depend on other factors such as details regarding installation. In other words, the price will differ from home to home.

Tesla plans to start installation of the solar roof around summer of 2017. Only one or two styles will be made available at the onset.

Musk announced his plan to purchase SolarCity back in June. SolarCity is owned by his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive while Musk acts as its chairman. According to USA Today, Musk told reporters that it would be "very unwieldy if we're not a combined company".

Tesla has also partnered with Panasonic to create solar panels. Panasonic will build the panels at a SolarCity plant and then Tesla will buy them.

Aside from the solar roof tiles, Tesla also unveiled a new Powerwall 2. This one has twice the capacity of the first Powerwall. The new version of Tesla's home battery system sells for $5,500. The other big reveal is an in-home charger for Tesla's cars.

Everything Tesla revealed is actually connected and makes up what they call the home power triad. The solar roof gathers energy from the sun and stores them in the Powerwall. The stored energy is then used to power the home and the charger that recharges Tesla's electric cars.

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