Dezeen Magazine

Tesla and SolarCity unveil inconspicuous solar roof tiles with "quasi-infinite" lifespan

Elon Musk has realised his vision for a "one-stop solar and storage experience", combining camouflaged roof tiles with an updated version of the energy-storing Powerwall.

Musk presented the Solar Roof and Powerwall 2 during a Tesla event at Universal Studios in LA last week.

Tesla Energy launch

The tiles are the first products to be jointly unveiled by Tesla and SolarCity following the announcement of the companies' proposed merger in August.

Made from glass and available in four styles, the panels are intended to be a more attractive way to add solar technology to homes by cleverly disguising the cells through a coloured film.

Tesla Energy launch

The Powerwall 2, meanwhile, has twice as much energy and twice as much power as the first iteration of the home battery, enough to power a four-bedroom house for an entire day.

Combined with the Solar Roof, it provides 100 per cent renewable energy for the home.

To demonstrate the strength of the product, Musk showed the audience footage of it being dropped on the ground.

Tesla Energy launch

"It's never going to wear out, it's made of quartz, it has a quasi-infinite lifetime," Musk said.

The presentation took place at Universal Studios, on the set of TV show Desperate Housewives, which finished in 2012.

For the event, Tesla stripped a series of houses on the fictional Wisteria Lane of their old roofing material and replaced it with one of four visually similar new styles of solar tile – Textured Glass, Slate Glass, Tuscan Glass or Smooth Glass.

"We need to make solar panels as appealing as electric cars have become," said Musk. "The goal is to have solar roofs that look better than a normal roof."

Tesla Energy launch

The announcement comes shortly after Tesla reported a profit for the third quarter – its first quarterly net profit in more than three years.

Musk initially positioned the SolarCity merger as an essential step in his masterplan, which involved the development of an integrated solar panel and battery product based on the Powerwall.

Tesla Energy launch

"By joining forces, we can operate more efficiently and fully integrate our products, while providing customers with an aesthetically beautiful and simple one-stop solar and storage experience," read a Tesla blog post in August.

Some of the electric carmaker's investors have expressed concern over the takeover, suggesting it is a Tesla-funded bailout of a company Musk has a vested interest in as its biggest shareholder. The Tesla shareholders will vote on the acquisition on 17 November 2016.