Elon Musk has confirmed the next step in the evolution of sustainable energy: Rather than adding solar panels to an existing roof, the panels will BE the roof. What seems like an obvious progression for this technology is actually a unique move in the market.
The news came out of SolarCity‘s conference call yesterday, covering its second quarter financial results, as reported by Electrek. Following SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive’s reference to 2 new products expected in 2017, Musk jumped in to add “It’s a solar roof, as opposed to modules on a roof… think this is really a fundamental part of achieving differentiated product strategy, where you have a beautiful roof. It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof.”
Rive added that this will allow solar city to access a new market, citing that 5 million new roofs are installed each year in the US alone. Additionally the average homeowner is unlikely to install solar panels on a roof that may need to be replaced in the near future, so a solar roof would be the best option.
SolarCity’s existing ‘retro-fit’ panels will not be axed, confirmed Musk, who believes the new business plan will work alongside SolarCity’s existing products. This doesn’t appear to impact Musk’s proposed plan, which was announced following Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity