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Tesla Unveils New Solar Roofs

The solar tiles are said to cost less than a conventional roof plus solar.The solar tiles are said to cost less than a conventional roof plus solar.

Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Friday unveiled new energy products aimed at illustrating the benefits of combining his electric car and battery maker with solar installer SolarCity Corp.

The billionaire entrepreneur showed off solar-powered roof tiles that eliminate the need for traditional panels and a longer-lasting home battery, which Tesla calls the Powerwall, aimed at realizing his vision of selling a fossil fuel free lifestyle to consumers, Reuters reported.

"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," Musk said.

Musk is the biggest shareholder in both Tesla and SolarCity, which is run by two of his first cousins. Analysts have been dubious of the deal's proposed synergies, with some suggesting the merger is a way for Tesla to rescue money-losing SolarCity.

By incorporating solar modules into rooftops, Tesla is hoping to succeed with a solar technology that to date has had little success. Just this year, Dow Chemical said it would stop selling a solar shingle it launched five years ago.

Tesla's glass solar roof tiles would look far better than any similar product, Musk said. They can be manufactured in a range of styles, which were demonstrated on the rooftops on the set.

Tesla gave little detail on cost, except to say that the cost of the roof would be less than a conventional roof plus solar.

The product will appeal to home builders and people looking to replace their roofs, Musk said, adding that the shingles would be more durable and have better insulation qualities than conventional roofs. SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive, Musk's cousin, said the solar roofs could easily have a 5% share of the new roof market within a year or two. The new generation of home and industrial batteries will be available this year.

 

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