Aside from trying to transform the world’s perceived view of electric cars, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now looking to change the way the world’s electricity systems operate. As chairman of power-generating company SolarCity, he’s looking to soon be rolling out a new product: a roof complete with built-in solar arrays.
According to Musk, solar energy collection will no longer be via “…a ‘thing’ on the roof, it is the roof,” and went on to say that, in future, building an integrated power-generating structure in the roof is going to be a “fundamental part of achieving a differentiated product strategy” for SolarCity.
So, if SolarCity can offer integrated solar roofs as well as retrofitted solar panels, it should be able to increase market opportunities, and not only for the both companies’ power-generating services but for Tesla’s latest battery products as well.
Because, as if by magic, Musk has just unveiled a new lithium-ion battery that people can buy for their homes, called the Powerwall, with prices beginning at $3,000, and them having potentially enough capacity to run a medium-sized home for 24 hours. However, when installation and converters have been factored in, the system could cost upwards of $6,000.
Also in the US, as well as other parts of the world, power companies charge time-based prices for supplied electricity. This means the cost of electricity alters throughout the day based on the demand. Musk’s idea is for homes with solar panels could charge up these batteries then use the power when the grid companies charge more.
Accoording to Musk, a new solar roof would be a custom-made kit delivered for installation, ideal for customers whose roof is nearing the end of its life anyway, while SolarCity would still offer retrofitted solar panels to homes with new or recently refurbished roofs.