Tesla's Musk adds solar roofs to his clean energy vision

Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:25am EDT
 
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By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Friday unveiled new energy products aimed at illustrating the benefits of combining his electric car and battery maker with solar installer SolarCity Corp.

The billionaire entrepreneur showed of solar-powered roof tiles that eliminate the need for traditional panels and a longer-lasting home battery, which Tesla calls the Powerwall, aimed at realizing his vision of selling a fossil fuel free lifestyle to consumers.

"This is sort of the integrated future. An electric car, a Powerwall and a solar roof. The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated," Musk said while showcasing the products on homes that once served as the set of the television show "Desperate Housewives."

Musk is the biggest shareholder in both Tesla and SolarCity, which is run by two of his first cousins. Analysts have been dubious of the deal's proposed synergies, with some suggesting the merger is a way for Tesla to rescue money-losing SolarCity. A vote on the acquisition is scheduled for Nov. 17.

The rollout of the product, expected as soon as next summer, would be "unwieldy" if the two companies are not combined, Musk told reporters.

Having two separate companies "slows things down, makes them more expensive. It's worse for shareholders," he said.

Musk refused to answer a reporter's question about how Tesla's balance sheet would accommodate the acquisition of SolarCity.

By incorporating solar modules into rooftops, Tesla is hoping to succeed with a solar technology that to date has had little success. Just this year, Dow Chemical said it would stop selling a solar shingle it launched five years ago.   Continued...

 
Tesla's electric car, Powerwall and solar roof are shown by Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, unveiling new energy products aimed at illustrating the benefits of combining his electric car and battery maker with solar installer SolarCity Corp, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 28, 2016. REUTERS/Nichola Groom