Skip to main content

Solar panels? Not good enough for Elon Musk — he wants to create a solar roof

elon musk solar roof 8341367442 ba131c04c4 k
Marufish/Flickr
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.”

Prime Day Focus
Roborock Prime Day shopping guide: Lots of options, which is right for you?
Is the Bluetti AC200L the best power station for camper vans?
These Razer Blade Prime Day deals really pack a punch [in gaming power]
Tiny projector, epic 4K cinema: Watch movies anywhere with LG CineBeam Q

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.

Imad Khan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Imad has been a gamer all his life. He started blogging about games in college and quickly started moving up to various…
Elon Musk’s Starship update included movie of Mars mission
Elon Musk giving a Starship update in February 2022.

“Let’s make this real,” Elon Musk said to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters on Thursday night after watching a dramatic animation depicting a future Starship mission to a city on Mars.

The SpaceX boss was giving the first public update in two years on the progress of the company’s next-generation space transportation system that’s already part of NASA’s plans for a crewed lunar landing, and yes, could one day carry humans to Mars, too.

Read more
How to watch Elon Musk’s Starship update today
watch spacex land next gen starship rocket for first time sn10 high altitude flight test  edit

Starship Update

SpaceX boss Elon Musk is about to offer an update on the company’s progress with its next-generation Starship rocket.

Read more
Elon Musk’s Starlink helping to restore Tonga’s internet
Elon Musk

SpaceX chief Elon Musk has sent a team of Starlink engineers to the South Pacific to help get Tonga back online after a recent volcanic eruption severed the only cable connecting the island nation to the internet.

With repairs to the undersea cable still ongoing, and a population desperate to contact loved ones overseas, several politicians in the region have been making public calls asking Musk if he would be able to use his Starlink internet satellites to restore Tonga’s internet connection following the January 15 disaster.

Read more