Tesla surprised everyone over the weekend with the launch of solar roof technology that looks as good—if not better—than a regular roof and could provide most or all of the electricity a house needs to stay powered.
The unexpected announcement from Elon Musk showcases his vision for solar energy: “The goal is to make solar roofs that look better than normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation, and have an install cost that is lower than the cost of a normal roof plus the cost of electricity,” Musk said at a public unveiling.
“So why would you buy anything else?” he asked rhetorically.
The details, as per usual with Musk announcements, are fuzzy. But Tesla aims to have the product available by the end of next year.
The roof tiles are made of textured glass and look mostly like regular shingles but allow light from above to pass through onto flat solar cells, which would be made by Panasonic. Tesla says its glass-shielded solar roofs are “tough as steel” and capable of weathering a lifetime in the elements. There are even plans for an option of heated roofs to melt snow off during winter months to keep the cells exposed to sunlight.