Approximately 5 million roofs are constructed each year in the United States, which is why Tesla Motors is merging with SolarCity to bring something new to the market.
Rather than sell solar panels that can be placed on someone’s roof, the visionaries behind both companies seek to develop entire roofs made of solar which will seamlessly integrate with Tesla’s home battery storage technology. This will allow homeowners to effortlessly use solar power even at night.
BusinessInsider reports that during a second quarter earnings conference call for SolarCity, the chairman of SolarCity and Elon Musk introduced the revolutionary concept: “It’s a solar roof as opposed to a module on a roof. I think this is really a fundamental part of achieving differentiated product strategy, where you have a beautiful roof. It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof, which is a quite difficult engineering challenge and not something that is available anywhere else.”
The CEO of Solar City, Lyndon Rive, who also happens to be Musk’s cousin, also revealed plans for two new products which will be released by the end of the year. The timing is curious, considering that the merger between the two companies won’t be complete until the fourth quarter.
Explaining his strategy to enhance homes around the world, Musk said: “You don’t want to put solar panels on a roof you know you are going to replace. However, if your roof is nearing end of life and you have to get a new roof anyway… why not have a solar roof that is better in many other ways as well.”
Little is known about how the roofs will actually work, but this information will undoubtedly be shared with the public in time.
During the call, Musk likened solar roofs to a Tesla car. Reportedly, customers will be given custom preferences and then will be shipped a kit so the product can be installed.
On a final note, Musk assured that the new products will not cannibalize SolarCity’s current solar panel business. Rather, Tesla will work alongside SolarCity’s current installations on existing roofs. Expect to hear more when the merger between Tesla and SolarCity is complete.
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