Tesla shines new light on solar power

Nick Myall
Wednesday 02 Nov 2016

New glass tiles that can absorb solar energy have been launched by Tesla

Solar panels that also act as roofing tiles have been unveiled by Elon Musk, chief executive of energy storage and car company Tesla.

The tiles, made from glass, are intended to be a more attractive way to add solar panels to homes, compared with currently-used solar technology.

Commenting on the new innovation Mr Musk said, "The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable, and seamlessly integrated, if all those things are true, why would you go in any other direction?" The unveiling took place on a former set of television programme Desperate Housewives in the USA.

It comes with Tesla due to take over struggling energy firm Solar City.

Some of the electric carmaker's investors have expressed concern over the takeover, suggesting it is a Tesla-funded bail-out of a company Mr Musk has a vested interest in as its biggest shareholder.

Solar City’s chief executive is Mr Musk’s cousin.

A price was not released for the product but Mr Musk said it would be cheaper than fitting a normal roof and adding solar panels.

Also part of the launch was Powerwall 2, Tesla’s home battery product which can store any surplus energy from the solar panels. It will cost $5,500 (£4,511), Mr Musk said.

Tesla posted a surprise profit in its last quarterly earnings - its first in three years.

The $2.6bn acquisition of Solar City seems set to see the company plunge back into the red, but Mr Musk insisted on Friday that the deal made sense as having separate companies would “slow things down”.

Nick Myall

News editor

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