Elon Musk unveils much-anticipated design for solar rooftops – sans clunky panels – Los Angeles Times

After hinting for weeks about a groundbreaking design to lure more customers to solar energy, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Friday showcased a line of high-design roof tiles that generate power from the sun without the clunky panels sold by most companies.

“The key is to make solar look good,” Musk said during the product introduction staged on the old set of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” series at the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot. “We want you to call your neighbors over and say, ‘Check out this sweet roof.’ ”

Musk, chief executive of Tesla and chairman of SolarCity, intends to build a personal alternative energy ecosystem connected by software and harmonious design, all under the Tesla brand name. The idea is that green-minded homeowners will mix with performance-oriented automotive geeks at Tesla retail stores to shop for electric cars, charging stations, solar rooftops and wall-mounted batteries for energy storage — all available separately but designed to work best as a system.

The new configuration unveiled Friday also includes an upgrade of Tesla’s Powerwall battery, which can bank energy for times the sun doesn’t shine for both household uses and recharging the Tesla in the garage.


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