What will the future hold? Elon Musk is investing in rooftop solar as the answer.
“The key is to make solar look good,” Musk said during the product introduction staged on the old set of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” series at the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot. “We want you to call your neighbors over and say, ‘Check out this sweet roof.’ ”
This is not the first time solar roofs have been tried.
The concept of integrating solar panels into rooftops has been attempted by others, with mixed results. Dow Chemical Co., for instance, recently phased out its solar shingle business.
Scott McIntyre, who heads a Florida company that has been installing integrated solar roof systems on commercial buildings since 2008, called Musk’s announcement “a marketing ploy to try to increase sales.”
“While I applaud Mr. Musk and have great admiration for him and his technologies, integrated roofs are not particularly new,” said McIntyre, chief executive of Tampa-based Solar Energy Management.
“What Tesla-SolarCity is trying to do is make it aesthetically attractive,” he said. “He’s got a great marketing machine. He knows how to create hype.”