SolarCity and Tesla unleashed their personal Steve Jobs once again to unveil some new product lines and technology. While the roof tiles are certainly held up as the headlining tech, the improved PowerWalls are no slouch with a doubling of capacity.
Standing outside surrounded by newly roofed houses of different styles, Musk showed off glass tiles that mimic textured tiles, French slate, flat modern and even Tuscan style curved roof tiles. Each individual tile looks opaque from most ground level vantage points, hiding the solar cells that become more visible from above where they perform their critical energy transaction with the sun.
"The goal is... to have solar roofs that look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation and actually have an installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost of electricity," Musk told a small crowd gathered at the faux block party. "Why would you buy anything else?"
Musk demonstrated the durability of the solar glass tiles with a video showing a Tesla roof tile taking a hit from a weight dropped from above. The tile cracks but does not shatter into shards like other conventional roofing tiles. No mention was made of the price, electricity generation capability of each tile or insulation value.
I compare it to a Steve Jobs presentation because it's a lot of flash, with a lot to digest, and then a lot of "how does..." questions.