Tesla recently unveiled their latest product, the Solar Roof, which was built in collaboration with Solar City. At the unveiling, Tesla CEO and real life Iron Man Elon Musk spoke of a future where Tesla would be an energy company. That vision got one step closer as Tesla received shareholders’ approval to merge with Solar City.
In simple words, Solar City makes solar panels and Tesla makes electric cars and batteries. Elon Musk hopes that together they can streamline the collection, storage and transport of energy thus making things more affordable and helping out the environment in the process.
The Solar Roof is a key part of this puzzle as it will be responsible for collecting the energy that will fuel this whole cycle. The roof is essentially mini solar panels that look like traditional roof shingles. The tiles are made of tempered glass and so are lighter and more durable than traditional ceramic tiles. Elon Musk hopes this added durability and lower weight will make the tiles price competitive with traditional premium roof tiles by cutting down transport costs. This is before taking into consideration savings made because of solar power generated. The roof tiles come in four different looks and will be available in summer 2017 in the US.
This development is very exciting as Tesla’s push into this market should force innovation. Within the next few years it would not be surprising to see products competing with the solar roof and innovating to increase efficiency a reduce costs. Ultimately similar products will make it to our side of the world. Bangladesh would greatly benefit from affordable solar tiles that generate much more energy than the ones currently found in the market. A solar roof would not only look good but would also reduce our dependence on fossil fuels thus saving the country a good amount of money.
The merger of Solar City and Tesla will play a pivotal role in the energy industry. Any progress will only be good news for consumers and the environment. We are living in a very exciting time where we could potentially witness a major change in how the world is powered. The key right now is to advocate the benefits to customers of such products and accelerate their adoption in the market.