Over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to the stage to announce a concept that he said would make solar energy more desirable than ever. He unveiled a range of durable, long-lasting, tempered-glass tiles with integrated solar cells that are nearly identical to regular tiling.
The solar roofing comes in four distinct styles – textured glass tile, slate glass tile, Tuscan glass tile, and smooth glass tile. They all have different aesthetics but look similar to current roofing materials. The tiles are also transparent to solar, but appear opaque when viewed from an angle.
“The key is to make solar look good,” he said. “We want you to call your neighbours over and say, ‘Check out this sweet roof’.”
The materials used in the tiles were shown to be extremely durable via a drop test comparison between the Tesla tiles and regular clay and stone tiles. And to top that off he casually says to the audience, “It’s never going to wear out, it’s made of quartz, it has a quasi-infinite lifetime.” For those who are going to google that term, it basically means the tiles and your house are going to be best friends forever.
After the excitement quietened down for a while, Musk also unveiled the updated PowerWall2. The new version comes with 14kWh of storage and a flatter, sleeker external form factor. The PowerWall2 will allegedly be able to power a four-bedroom house for about a day on its own. The battery will retail for $5,500 (Dh20,200)
At the moment, Tesla has not provided any pricing on the tiles, but Musk claims that his solar roof costs less than the full cost of a regular roof and the cost of electricity from the grid. The company aims to start installations by summer next year.