Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche


Tesla Gets Into the Shingle Business

Elon Musk is now out to completely disrupt the solar electric industry with shingles. Tesla Energy took over an old set from the defunct soap opera Desperate Housewives to show off next generation solar-electric systems that look like normal tile roofs on October 28.

Musk showed off new roofing tiles that are really small photovoltaic solar panels that generate electricity which can be stored in the batteries his Tesla Energy is producing at the Gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada.

Reporters did not notice the new solar tiles until Musk pointed them out. The houses on the Wysteria Lane set at Universal Studios in Universal City, California, looked like normal suburban US homes with no solar panels.

“The goal is the have solar roofs that look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation and actually have an installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost of electricity,” Musk said.

The tiles are actually made of glass but they look like the terracotta roofing tiles found on a lot of homes in the United States. Others look like shake shingles and other normal building materials and French slate. Musk claimed the tiles will be stronger than normal roof tiles and last longer.

The tiles will be manufactured by Musk’s other company Solar City (NASDAQ: SCTY) in Buffalo, New York. Tesla is in the process of acquiring Solar City which is reportedly close to default, Computerworld reported. He’ll need to get the permission of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) stockholders in order to complete the deal.

Tesla also announced that it had doubled the capacity of its PowerWall 2 lithium-ion battery pack. The battery is supposed to store the electricity from the roof and power the home at night.

Musk’s Plan to End Global Warming

The PowerWall 2 can power a four bedroom house for a day, Musk said. It can hold up tto kilowatt 50 watts of electricity. The system can be scaled up to any size.


Musk is also getting into the utility business; Tesla is building an 80 megawatt battery storage system for electric provider Southern California Edison. Musk expects that utilities will greatly expand their capacity in the near future.

His ultimate goal is to stop global warming and climate change by giving every middle class household on earth an electric car, a solar roof and a Powerwall. That combined with more efficient utilities is supposed to power the world without generating any CO2.

It looks as if Musk is out to disrupt yet another industry. Now we have to see if anybody is willing to go along with his plans are not. Dow stopped making a similar product the Powerhouse Shingle earlier this year because it had a hard time selling them.