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1 November 2016

Tesla launches roof tile solar panels

Automaker and energy storage company, Tesla, has unveiled its latest energy product: solar roof tiles.

The new solar roof tiles – Powerwall – enable houses to be powered by solar without the need for traditional panels.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, said: “This is sort of the integrated future. An electric car, a Powerwall and a solar roof. The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated.”

Elon Musk is the main shareholder of Tesla and SolarCity – run by his cousins, and a vote on the acquisition of SolarCity by Tesla will be held on 17 November.

The combination of the two companies would enable the rollout of the new solar product for summer 2017, as two different companies “slows things down, makes them more expensive”, according to Musk.

Musk showcased the product and pointed out the wide range of manufacturing styles which will be available for the glass solar roof tiles.

The shingles will also last longer, and will have better insulation qualities than traditional roofs.

Dow Chemical had similar solar tiles launched five years ago, but they announced this year that they will stop selling them due to the low popularity.

There is no information on cost yet, except that the solar roof will be less expensive than a conventional roof plus solar panels.

The solar roofs could account for a 5 per cent share of the new roof market in one or two years, according to SolarCity co-founder, Peter Rive.

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