Solar roof and Powerwall 2 from Tesla

The company wants you to harness the power of the sun


Roberto Baldwin , @strngwys


At Universal Studios in Los Angeles Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off the company’s solar roof-top panels, new $5,500 Powerwall 2 high-capacity residential battery pack and Powerpack 2 for businesses.

Musk and company have been teasing the photovoltaic cell-embedded rooftop panels for a few weeks. The event was probably timed as an grand explanation for why its important the automaker acquire Solar City. Musk said that if the merger doesn’t go through, the launch of the new tiles will be difficult.


During the event, Musk sort of talked about the price of the panels. He said that the “installed cost is less than a normal roof and the cost of electricity.” But there was no concrete pricing announced noting that it’s difficult to put a price on what it’ll cost for every house. Of course a price per square foot would have been helpful. The company will sell the tiles directly to customers instead of working with home builders.

They did install non-operational tiles on the Desperate Housewives’ homes before the event. While everyone waited for Musk to take the stage, no one took notice of the homes because they seemed so normal. That’s exactly what Tesla and Solar City want to achieve.

In fact, Musk also showed off a Tuscan-style house with glass tiles on the roof of the garage that to the naked eye, you would be hard-pressed to notice was actually sucking up the energy of the sun. The rest of the house had its original tiles and Tesla noted that this sort of installation gives home owners the opportunity to only place only the solar panels they need while keeping their abodes looking good. “People love their homes and we want them to be better,” Musk said.

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