Tesla founder Elon Musk is known for dreaming big — and his vision extends far beyond the all-electric car company he founded.
This is the guy who launched the first-ever private spacecraft to dock at the International Space Station. It’s also the man who envisions a high-speed pneumatic tube for travel that whips you between San Francisco and Los Angeles at a speed of 800 miles per hour!
With a pedigree like that, it’s clear Musk is no stranger to disrupting industries. From co-founding PayPal to creating space exploration company Space X to launching the most successful all-electric car company ever, Musk is a bold thinker.
But now he has his sights set on your roof!
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A look at Tesla’s solar shingles
Tesla says it’s gearing up for production of the shingles in four eye-catching styles: Tuscan glass tile, smooth glass tile, textured glass tile and slate glass tile.
Each puts sleek and fashionable design in full display on your home’s roof all while promising to revolutionize the green housing construction industry.
Production beginning as sales tactics change
While it’s not entirely clear which of the four shingles will be the first to roll off production lines, this much we do know: Production is set to begin this quarter at a Tesla factory in Fremont, CA.
After finding its footing with production, Tesla will then move all manufacturing of the shingles to a new factory in Buffalo, NY.
The company originally said it would begin taking orders for the shingles in April, but the month came and went without any movement on that front.
Yet when the time for orders does come, the company has decided to alter some of its sales tactics.
Previously, Solar City reportedly had 1,000 door-to-door salespeople selling the shingles in residential neighborhoods throughout solar-friendly states. Tesla now says it will forego the direct residential hawking and shift the emphasis to in-store sales.
Bloomberg reports initial trials of the new sales approach resulted in 50% to 100% more sales vs. selling the shingles at non-Tesla locations like The Home Depot and Best Buy, which it will still continue to do as well.
So be on the lookout for more than 70 Tesla stores to start selling the shingles direct to consumers before the end of 2017!
What’s old is new again in home energy consumption
Tesla’s solar shingles are actually part of a holistic approach to personal energy consumption.
In Musk’s vision, your roof would catch the sun’s rays and power your home plus store extra energy in the Tesla Powerwall home battery. That home battery would then charge your Tesla vehicle at night.
While Musk’s idea is interesting and aesthetically pleasing, it’s not exactly totally new.
Dow had a product called PowerHouse Shingles as recently as earlier this year. Their solar shingles were small and looked just like the traditional asphalt ones you’re used to. After being hooked into your power system by electricians, they could then supplement your energy so you could slowly inch off the grid.
But Dow’s PowerHouse Shingles were only released in a handful of markets, including California, Colorado, and Texas. Unfortunately, Dow pulled the plug on them and stopped manufacturing the shingles at the end of June.
Here’s hoping Tesla and Solar City have better luck with their solar roofing venture!
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