Tesla and SolarCity Finally Unveil Their Solar Roofs and Upgraded Batteries

Tesla and SolarCity Finally Unveil Their Solar Roofs and Upgraded Batteries

The solar roofs, at a first glance was unnoticeable until Musk had taken to the stage and pointed them out. He also said he wants his solar roofs to provide better insulation and cost less. Tesla's solution will see photovoltaic cells incorporated into the roof itself, and will be marketed as a replacement for roof tiles, either for new builds or for refurbishments.

The first is made by SolarCity, one of many firms Musk has an interest in (he's now trying to take it over with Tesla): solar roof panels that look like normal slates, are cheap to install and can power your home gadgets without costing the Earth.

Unlike the solar systems of the past, Tesla's newly designed roofs will feature aesthetically pleasing, energy efficient glass solar tiles, that will replace a home's roof rather than sit on top of it.

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The Powerwall 2 can store 14kWh of energy, with a 5kW continuous power use, and 7kW at peak. Tesla has already started taking orders for its solar roof tiles but Musk has said that installation of these roofs is not expected to begin before Summer 2017. If Tesla Energy follows a similar model to its vertically-integrated vehicle company, it could cease selling batteries to third parties. He believes the lovely design will help lure more people into solar energy.

The new products also show how Musk is having increasing influence over SolarCity, pushing the company to focus more on differentiated products instead of its commodity, cutthroat business of selling low cost solar panels. The Powerwall 2 costs $5,500 compared to its $3,500 predecessor.

In June, Tesla proposed buying SolarCity, the biggest home solar-panel installer in the U.S., in an all-stock deal worth around $US2.45 billion. 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.

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The solar roofing tiles-a product of Tesla and Solar City, which Tesla is in the process of acquiring-are made of glass and are created to completely replace the shingles that are already on your roof, as opposed to solar panels that are created to be mounted on top of what's already there. Tesla said that is glass tiled solar roof panels are more durable than the other conventional solar roof panels available.

Electric utilities need not fear Tesla's new offering, Musk said in his product announcement.

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