By merging Tesla and Solarcity, Elon Musk has sought about creating an "end-to-end clean energy" solution that starts in the home and extends onto the road. The idea is simple: harness solar energy via photovoltaic cell-embedded rooftop panels, store it in giant batteries and then pipe it into the home or an electric vehicle. As it stands, Musk's goal is on its way to being realized, but Tesla first needs to combine those individual components into one, and it's starting with software.
The company's mobile app and "My Tesla" website have recently been updated to include information on Powerwall installations and deliver real-time solar energy metrics. Users can also monitor their Model S or Model X vehicles, while checking to see where the electricity powering their appliances is coming from.
In October 2016, Tesla announced a new version of its Powerwall product. The wall-mounted pack includes two 14kWh lithium-ion batteries -- double the capacity of the previous version -- that can power a four-bedroom house for an entire day. Its built-in power inverter works directly with the company's new glass solar roof tiles to convert sunlight into electricity.
According to Musk, those tiles will be available for installation this summer and will offer "two or three times the longevity of asphalt." In fact, 2017 will be pretty frantic for Tesla: it intends to show off the finished Model 3 in July, unveil a semi truck in September and convert its Roadster into a convertible. But not before it fixes 53,000 Model S and Model X vehicles with potential electronic parking brake flaws.