Elon Musk has checked another item off his “Why haven’t we done this yet?” list. During Solar City’s latest earning call, Musk revealed that he’s been working on a new concept, a “solar roof.”
Millions of homes around the world protect us from the hot and brutal sun, so it only makes sense that having a solar roof would be the logical next step in harnessing that power. Sure, many can afford to install solar panels on their roofs, but Musk’s plan is different. He wants to make a roof entirely out of solar cells.
“It’s a solar roof, as opposed to modules on a roof” Musk said during the earnings call. “I 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.”
There are other types of solar solutions aside from traditional panels, such as solar shingles. While visually appealing, they do tend to be more expensive and less efficient. Looks like Musk and company are looking to make solar power more mainstream, as they’ve done with Tesla.
Earlier this year, Tesla bought Solar City for $2.6 billion. Rumors had been afloat as Musk had been buying up Solar City stock in 2015. It really looks like Musk enjoys the idea of vertical integration.
We are definitely patenting this idea pic.twitter.com/N46cvN9uX9
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 30, 2016
The hope, ultimately, would be for Tesla to figure out a way to take people completely off the grid. Having solar roofs in tandem with Tesla’s Powerwall, which is a giant battery that stores energy for your home, could make self-sufficient energy production a reality. Unfortunately, the Powerwall still doesn’t work too well with solar panels, and solar panels themselves still need an increase in efficiency.
But if anyone can pull this off, Musk can.