In a quick move that would obviously make Steve Jobs go green with envy.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla's latest product in an over the top presentation at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Four houses on the old set of popular TV Series Desperate Housewives were refitted with the company's new and almost unnoticeable solar panel roofing.
With four distinctive styles , the new roofing materials are an impressive and remarkable piece of tech aimed at making solar energy more appealing by losing the conventional ugliness comes with solar panel installation. In keeping with the Desperate Housewives theme, Tesla's strategy seems to be to make the whole neighborhood jealous. "The key is to make solar look good," according to Musk , "We want you to call your neighbors over and say, 'Check out this sweet roof.'"
Using a special coating, the appearance of the tiles changes based on the angle it's being viewed from . The coating is basically transparent when seen directly but from an angle of the street, it looks just like an average slate shingle or terra cotta style and it does a pretty good job of camouflaging the underlying solar cells. Musk said that they are working with 3M on the coating.
The presentation also highlighted the fact that the tiles are printed hydrographically , making each one a "special snowflake."
Elon Musk also emphasized on the durability of the panels and showed off a drop test comparison between his new tiles versus stone and clay. The solar roof was surprisingly stronger . Pulling out a nice buzzword that should be part of every tech presentation he said, "It's never going to wear out, it's made of quartz, it has a quasi-infinite lifetime." Quasi-infinite baby.
A new Powerwall was also presented. It has 14kWh of storage and 7kWh of peak power draw, along with a flatter external form factor. Version 2.0 will be able to power a four bedroom house for about 24 hours on its own.
While it's hard to get excited about a big battery that is just a little better, Musk sees the roof as the third part of his renewable energy eco-system. In his ideal world, you will power your house and charge your big battery with his pretty tiles, then you'll plug your electric car into the big battery when you get home.
"It needs to be beautiful, affordable, and seamlessly integrated. If all of those things are true, why would you go any other direction?" he asked. And he's right that if all of those things are true, he will have an unstoppable collection of products. But, as of now, all of those things aren't necessarily a reality. The tiles are beautiful and seamless if they fit your style of home and he did not announce what the price will be. Regardless, it's almost certain that the holy trinity of personal electric power will be outside most people's price range for the considerable future.
Still, Musk is generally upfront about his targeting of the wealthy as early adopters in an effort to drive costs down. And Tesla is continuing to centralize all of the factors in electric power by partnering with SolarCity for installation. Shareholders will vote November 17th on a proposed $2 billion merger between the two companies.
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