Elon Musk unveils solar panels resembling traditional roofing tiles

Elon Musk CEO of Tesla Motors Inc. unveils the company’s newest products Powerwall and Powerpack in Hawthorne Calif. Musk has announced plans for Tesla Motors to begin selling solar roof tiles for homes together

Elon Musk, the visionary chief executive of Tesla, has unveiled new energy-related productswhich the electric vehicle and battery producer has engineered together with new acquisition SolarCity.

A joint venture between Tesla and SolarCity, in which the billionaire entrepreneur is the biggest shareholder, the Solar Roof tile consists of a tempered glass panel, a "high-efficiency" solar cell, and a coloured louver film.

The panels look like textured glass tiles, but with integrated solar cells. Unlike most solar panels in the market (which are made of photovoltaic steels that are installed over traditional roofs), Tesla's solar roofs are made of quartz glass.

Musk had earlier announced his intention to break into the electric auto industry via Tesla, following his three-part energy solution: generation (solar panels), storage (batteries) and transportation (cars). "You want to pull your neighbours over and say 'Check out this sweet roof"'.

So far, there has been no information on pricing and installation costs for the solar roof.

Friday's event comes ahead of the November 17 shareholder vote on Tesla's planned merger with SolarCity.

When he's not trying to or, Elon Musk likes to spend time working on progressing renewable energy, and he's been showing off two new products for the home in Los Angeles.

The solar roofs that Musk showed off were installed on houses on Universal Studio's famous backlot, which recreates a suburban environment.

"We need to make solar panels as appealing as electric cars have become", said Musk. 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.

The next solar powered initiative Tesla is speculated to unveil will be a next generation electric auto.

Musk showcased the product and pointed out the wide range of manufacturing styles which will be available for the glass solar roof tiles. Plug-in electric vehicles make up less than 1 percent of US sales, and less than 1 percent of USA electricity generation comes from solar power, according to government data.

Earlier this week, during a conference call to discuss Tesla's third-quarter earnings, Musk said he's confident SolarCity would be cash-neutral or even a cash contributor in the fourth quarter if the companies merge.

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