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
Elon Musk’s Turnkey Vision For Energy Independence
In hishis authentic Elon Musk-ian way, the Tesla cofounder and CEO unveiled the roadmap for future of the electic motor company.
Yesterday, Telsa’s blog posted Elon Musk’s Master Plan Part Deux, the highly anticipated sequel to 2006’s master pan. In Musk’s attempt to make sense of Tesla’s recent moves, he explained the decision to acquire SolarCity and the vision to create a (more) sustainable world.
“The point of all this was, and remains, accelerating the advent of sustainable energy, so that we can imagine far into the future and life is still good. That’s what “sustainable” means. It’s not some silly, hippy thing — it matters for everyone.”said Musk in the statement released July 20, “We can’t do this well if Tesla and SolarCity are different companies, which is why we need to combine and break down the barriers inherent to being separate companies.”
Tesla’s absorption of SolarCity is essential to “create a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works.” At this point it is unclear if this relates exclusively to Tesla’s vehicles, or will also apply the Powerwall, Tesla’s built-for-the-home battery.
Regardless, the future of sustainability (as Musk sees it), is do or die: “By definition, we must at some point achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn and civilization will collapse.”
Elon Musk Reveals Tesla Master Plan that Includes Solar Roofs, 10X Safer Self-Driving, and Car-Sharing
Read more about Musk’s Master Plan here.