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Published: Sun, October 30, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Tesla and SolarCity Finally Unveil Their Solar Roofs and Upgraded Batteries

Tesla and SolarCity Finally Unveil Their Solar Roofs and Upgraded Batteries

Tesla surprised everyone when it rolled out not one but four different solar panels. The panels will be available in Smooth Glass Tile, Textured Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile and Slate Glass Tile variants.

Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk reasons that numerous people who want to drive electric vehicles have an inherent interest in setting up cleaner energy systems in their homes and offices. The solar cells a visible when looking at the tiles straight on perpendicularly, but disappear at an angle to hid the embedded solar cells in the glass from the perspective of people on the ground.

SolarCity's new solar roof tries to check all those boxes. Tesla made an offer to acquire SolarCity in June. "The goal is to have a roof that's less than the installed cost of a roof plus electricity".

After showing off the homes with solar roofs (and Teslas in the driveways), Musk went for the close, describing a future where neighbors brag about their solar roof instead of say, their vehicle or their riding lawn mower. Whether meant to emulate clay tiles on a Spanish-style house or shingles on a colonial, Musk says they have 98% of the ray-collecting power of a conventional solar panel, are durable and will last longer than the house itself. He said that it will not make sense for people to replace their old roof with Tesla solar roof panels; however, it could benefit those who are planning to replace their roof.

Tesla markets electric cars with self-driving technology that the company says will one day be fully autonomous.

In a tweet, earlier this morning, Mr. Musk mentioned that the Tesla solar roof would work robustly against any weather which includes a heavy hail. 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. According to reports, the main aim of the solar-roof product is to make Tesla Motors eco-friendly with clean energy.

Tesla's new solar roof tiles will be practically indistinguishable from roof tiles now available on the market. The two companies could be set to merge if a shareholder vote next month approves of the deal. The new version of Tesla's home battery system sells for $5,500.

SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive, Musk's cousin, said the solar roofs could easily have a five percent share of the new roof market within a year or two.

First up, the new Powerwall 2.0 can handle twice as much energy as the initial generation, with a 14kWh energy storage capacity and a 7kW power output.

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