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Tesla, SolarCity reveal solar roof, redesigned Powerwall

by Justin King

Four styles of glass tiles have been outfitted with photovoltaic cells, matching various architectural styles.

Tesla and SolarCity have revealed their solar roof, offering a stylish alternative to traditional obtrusive solar panels.

The companies have worked together to develop a complete roof with integrated photovoltaic cells. The sun-soaking electronic materials are invisible within the glass tiles, which are claimed to be more impact resistant than clay, slate or terra cotta.

Buyers can choose from four different styles -- Textures Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile and Smooth Glass Tile. The entire roof does not have to be solar, as the companies promise to offer non-solar tiles that are visually indistinguishable from the power-generating tiles.

"When Tesla and SolarCity embarked to design and engineer the solar roof together, the goal was to create the most beautiful and efficient roof ever - one that would make homes look better while reducing the cost of electricity," Tesla said in a statement.

The solar roof can be combined with Tesla's new Powerwall 2, providing 14-kWh of lithium-ion batteries. The pack can store solar energy to be used after the sun sets for the day, or charge from grid power during the lowest rate periods.

"Tesla already offers batteries and electric cars, and SolarCity already offers sustainable energy generation," the companies note. "Together, Tesla and SolarCity have introduced an integrated system that illustrates what the companies can do together."

Tesla's proposed acquisition of SolarCity must still pass shareholder votes.

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