Last week, EV superpower Tesla announced its latest product: roof tiles with built-in solar cells. By merging technological performance with aesthetics, Tesla hopes to offer consumers solutions to make their homes more energy self-sufficient.
Using PV roofing material instead of traditional rooftop solar panels helps the company consolidate costs. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, there are between four and five million new roofs constructed in the United States each year, which gives him a broad market.
However, critics of Tesla’s latest move highlight potential issues related to many different factors, including: location, energy storage capabilities, the practicality and cost of replacing a roof, and the difficulty in integrating PV technology into infrastructure. Tesla has not specified the technology behind their solar cells, but have claimed that they achieve 98 percent of the efficiency of traditional solar panels.