Tesla Motors Inc. is getting ready for one of its biggest unveilings to date: a new home roofing system that redefines the aesthetics of solar power, combined with massive wall-hung batteries to provide electricity into the night. The new products will be unveiled at Universal Studios in Los Angeles on Friday evening.
This is Tesla’s big push to become a sun-to-vehicle energy company, and it will serve as Elon Musk’s closing argument to Tesla shareholders about why they should vote on Nov. 17 to approve a $2.2 billion acquisition of the biggest U.S. rooftop solar installer, SolarCity, to make it all possible. Here’s everything we know so far, as well as a few things we’ll be watching for on Friday:
It’s like shingles on your roof, but for the 21st century
By our count, there will be as many as five new products unveiled at Friday’s event, but the principal attraction is a new solar roofing system, perhaps unlike any other on the market. “It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof,” Musk said in a SolarCity conference call in August. “You really want the roof custom-made to the individual customer as a kit and then sent to ... the delivery team to get installed.” The product is designed for new construction or for anyone planning to replace an aging roof. Some have speculated that it might be a solar shingle, similar to the one recently abandoned by Dow Chemical, or that it might be something more akin to a traditional metal roof.
Bigger Powerwall batteries for everyday use
Tesla’s second big product will be