Moving swiftly after their $2.6 billion merger, Tesla and SolarCity are gearing up to release their first jointly branded product: a solar roof that charges an integrated backup power system. To be clear, this new product combo would not be a rooftop solar array or interlocking solar tiles, but rather a real rooftop made of solar panels. The system would be linked with Tesla Powerwall 2.0, the long-awaited less expensive version of the company’s innovative battery backup. CEO Elon Musk says the launch is planned for October 28 in the San Francisco Bay area.
Musk tweeted the announcement on Thursday afternoon, promising the unveil of “new Tesla/SolarCity solar roof with integrated Powerwall 2.0 battery and Tesla charger.” Despite the absence of details in his update, we already have a good idea of what this product will involve, because he’s spoken about it before. Earlier this summer, Musk let it be known that Tesla and SolarCity were developing a solar roof to target customers with older rooftops who may be putting off solar panel installs due to the cost of repairing their existing roof. A solar roof would address both issues at the same time.
The inclusion of a Tesla car charger isn’t surprising, but one might hope that feature will be an optional add-on, since certainly not every homeowner wanting a solar roof will also want (or be able to afford) a Tesla. Even so, a fully integrated clean energy solution that can power your house through the night, or during interruptions in grid power, marks a major milestone in terms of connecting homeowners with emissions-free energy alternatives.
The October unveil date is pretty exciting, and renewable energy enthusiasts are eager to learn more about this innovative product, such as its price point and production date. In August, SolarCity’s Peter Rive told Engadget that the solar roof would be a key part of a ramp-up in production around the second quarter of 2017, but that timeline could be impacted by pending lawsuits against the solar company that Tesla says could delay the merger deal. Either way, it’s too soon to say when homeowners might be able to install a roof to power their homes.
Via Clean Technica