Los Angeles, United States | AFP |
Electric carmaker Tesla has diversified into the alternative energy business, on Friday unveiling solar roofs for environmentally friendly homes.
“Global warming is a serious crisis and we need to do something about that,” company founder Elon Musk said during a news conference at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.
Musk noted that electric cars in the past “didn’t look good… They were like a golf cart,” but Tesla automobiles are now highly desired by movers and shakers including Hollywood stars and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
Solar panels need to undergo the same transformation, he said.
“We need to make them as appealing as electric cars have become.”
“The goal is to have solar roofs that look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation, and actually have a total cost that his less than the price of a normal roof plus electricity,” Musk said.
“Why would you buy anything else?”
Tesla, which has joined forces with solar panel maker SolarCity, aims to capture five percent of the market, Musk said.
The roof tiles are made with extremely strong tempered glass, high-efficiency solar cells and colored film.
“We expect to start installing these roofs sometimes next year,” Musk said.
He also unveiled an updated version of Tesla’s Powerwall, a compact, solar powered battery that can provide the energy to a home or business.