Electric car company Tesla announces launch of new solar-powered roof tiles as company ramps up for possible merger with SolarCity. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk on Friday (October 28) unveiled new energy products aimed at illustrating the benefits of combining his electric car and battery maker with solar installer SolarCity Corp. The products include solar-powered roof tiles that eliminate the need for traditional panels and longer-lasting batteries aimed at helping to realize Musk's vision of selling a fossil fuel free lifestyle to consumers. "The goal is to make, to have electric, you know, solar roofs that look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, better insulation and actually have cost and installed cost that is less than a normal roof plus the cost for electricity," Musk said during an event to showcase the products at the Universal Studios theme park near Los Angeles. "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," said Musk. During the presentation Musk said that local power generation does not pretend to eliminate the need for utility power generation. Tesla gave little detail on cost, except to say that the cost of the roof would be less than a conventional roof plus solar. The product will appeal to home builders and people looking to replace their roofs. "You can imagine over time as people replace their roofs with solar roofs that the whole neighborhoods, everyone would have solar, like, why wouldn't you?" said Musk. 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 November 17.