Want to buy a Tesla?
By Sheri Scott, Founder and Principal Architect, Springhouse Architects
I am a huge Elon Musk fan. He builds great products, companies and teams. When I heard that he was venturing into the home construction market, my curiosity was peaked. I was not disappointed! A truly attractive solar roof and an energy storage system, both designed, built and priced for the residential market. This could be a game changer.
Just before dusk on an October evening in 2016, Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, bounded onto a stage in the middle of the “Desperate Housewives” set at Universal Studios and began talking about the crisis of global warming. As he continued, he explained that Tesla’s mission was not just about building viable electric cars, but rather about providing consumers with integrated systems designed to generate ecologically responsible energy. In light of this mission, he said he was pleased to announce that Tesla had designed, and manufactured, two new products -- solar roof tiles and the Powerwall 2.
Musk then surprised the audience by announcing that the roofs on the sound stage houses had been replaced with Tesla solar tiles. The video of the announcement shows the audience gasping in surprise as Musk showed each of the tiles, gestured to the roof that had been replaced and explained that through the use of hydrographics Tesla had created four distinct styles of tiles that offered not only an aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional solar panels, but also provided higher quality insulation and would help defray utility costs by generating electricity.
He went on to point out that when combined with the projected utility savings, the cost of installing a Tesla roof is less than that of a standard roof. However, it is important to note that it is likely that the return on investment may take as long as 15 years, and this may be a sticking point in determining the success of the product.
The second product Musk introduced was the Powerwall 2, a sleek integrated battery and inverter that can be unobtrusively installed in a garage, and can store and disperse the power needed to supply a four-bedroom home with enough electricity to run the refrigerator, outlets and lights. Like the solar tiles, the Powerwall 2 is beautifully designed and aesthetically pleasing, which will make it much more appealing to consumers looking for a way to integrate solar power in their home design.
Tesla’s design and development of the solar tiles and the Powerwall 2 is a major breakthrough for sustainability products. If the company can effectively address the issues of cost and marketing to a more mainstream consumer, then these two products (slated to become available to the general public in July 2017) have the potential to reshape the way designers and builders construct homes, and will most likely transform the housing market.
Want to learn more about the latest, innovative, products that can be incorporated into your next custom home? Schedule a free consultation with a member of the Springhouse Architects team by clicking here.