Tesla raises the roof with new Solar Shingles

Tesla has debuted its new Powerwall 2 and Solar Shingles technology in a presentation at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, according to Wired.

Four houses on the disused set of Desperate Housewives were refitted with the company’s new solar panel roofing, which is virtually indistinguishable from a normal roof.

The new Solar Shingles range features four unique styles – Tuscan Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Textured Glass Tile and Smooth Glass Tile. Made using a special coating developed in conjunction with 3M, the solar tiles integrated into the roof are invisible when viewed from the street, yet are fully exposed to the sun from above.

The presentation highlighted the fact the tiles are hydrographically printed, making each one unique. This will allow neighbouring houses to have the same style without appearing overly similar in design.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke at length about the durability of the panels and demonstrated a drop test comparison between his new tiles versus stone and clay varieties, with Tesla’s roof performing better.

“It’s never going to wear out, it’s made of quartz, it has a quasi-infinite lifetime,” Musk told the audience.

The new Powerwall 2 was also presented, boasting 14kWh of storage and 7kWh of peak power draw, as well as a flatter external form factor. It’s estimated the new model will be able to power a four-bedroom house for a day on its own and will retail for $US5500.

According to Musk’s vision, homeowners will be able to power their homes and charge their batteries using the Solar Shingles, and then charge their electric vehicles using the battery.

“It needs to be beautiful, affordable, and seamlessly integrated. If all of those things are true, why would you go any other direction?” Musk said.

Pricing for the Solar Shingles has not yet been released, however, Telsa claims they will be lower in cost than a traditional roof “when combined with projected utility bill savings”.