If there’s one thing Elon Musk is famous for – other than being rich and powerful – it’s pursuing daring ideas to create technology that people want to see, but hasn’t yet been made. Just a few years ago, Tesla designed and released its Solar Roof Tiles designed to provide sunlight-harnessed energy to individual buildings.
But of course, Musk wasn’t satisfied enough with the final product, and had to keep working to improve it.
A few years and two designs later, and he’s unveiled their most promising redesign: the “Solar Glass Roof.” These new roofs are cheaper and easier to set up than versions 1 or 2, which has helped Musk feel comfortable with scaling a larger production for them. They come in a dark tempered glass finish, but Musk’s plan is to release new designs for them every 6-9 months. They currently cost an estimated $42,500 (before tax credits) for a 2,000-square-foot roof, which provides 10kW of solar capacity. According to Tesla’s math, that’s around $21.25 per square foot.
Musk has high hopes for this project, saying that they will help “make roofs come alive…where you look around the neighborhood and the roofs are all gathering energy. I think in the future, it will be odd for roofs to not gather energy,” the billionaire CEO said.
His goals include installing 1,000 roofs per week in the foreseeable future – but that might be harder than he’s making it sound, after the last model ended in legal charges made by Walmart over some home fires that poor constructed solar panels caused. But Musk believes the Solar Glass Roof will have a market of at least 100 million homes worldwide. Tesla currently has two installation teams competing internally on the best installation process, and later on they’ll also bring in outside workforces to continue imrpoving from there.