Tesla is working on glass for Model 3, which can generate electricity
On November 1, Elon Musk announced that Tesla Model 3 will use the same glass technology as the recently announced roof tiles, which act as solar panels. Musk says that Tesla has a special group dedicated to glass technology - Tesla Glass. This was announced during a telephone conference that discussed the financial details of the merger of Tesla and SolarCity. A new division focused on the development of technology for the "solar roofs» ( Solar roof ) the Tesla.
For the first time, Musk mentioned the practical use of special glass during a conversation with analysts when discussing how the “solar roof” differs from other similar products that failed in the same renewable energy segment. As a distinctive feature, Musk mentioned the new glass, which is used by the company as one of the layers of eco-friendly tiles. He also confirmed that it was developed by the new Tesla technology team. In a promotional video, the company calls glass tiles for tiles as Tesla Glass.
“Solar Roof” is a system for generating and storing electricity, which can be used at home instead of conventional coating. Musk introduced on October 28roof tile, which works like a solar panel and is indistinguishable from the standard tile, which is usually lined with roofs of houses. It consists of several layers: the lowest is a solar panel, the middle is a colored film that imitates clay tiles, stone or wood. All this is covered with an outer layer - tempered protective glass, which was discussed during a conversation with experts.
Not much is known about the features of the new glass. Musk said on Twitter that glass elements could include heating elements. They can be used for a number of things. For example, if such a glass is installed in a car, it will not freeze in winter and will continue to generate energy. Thus, Musk hints that the area of application of the new glass is not limited to the “solar roof” alone.
The Tesla Glass division formed at the very beginning of this year. It is located in the California design studio in Hawthorne, where Tesla carries out all the design work and solves some of the high-level development tasks. At the head of the new unit was former Apple engineer Mike Pilliod. His name appears on a long list of Apple patents, most of which are related to innovations in glass touchscreens and devices like the iPhone, where glass is widely used. At one time, he managed to work directly with the chief designer of Apple, Jonathan Quince. Helping Michael in the work will be the program manager Kate Cousin.
Tesla has not yet disclosed more detailed information about the new technology of eco-friendly glass, as well as the design of “solar roofs”. However, it should be noted that Tesla loves to use glass in their cars in a much larger amount than any other manufacturer. To make sure of this, just look at the Model S with its panoramic roof or Model X with a panoramic windshield. Finally, Tesla offers the option of a glass roof in Model 3.
There were various rumors about what the new unit would be doing. For example, that the rich professional experience of Mike Pillod will find its application in the design of Heads Up Display (HUD) - an interface with which you can display information directly on the windshield. Over the past years, Tesla has been building a team of HUD experts. Among them was Milan Kovacs - chief engineer of Autopilot Embedded Systems. Whether the HUD will be integrated with the windshield, as is used in some luxury cars, or whether it will be something completely different, one can only guess. However, it is now known for certain that Pillod and his team will be developing glass for "solar roofs" and Tesla Model 3.
Tesla Model 3 should see the light next year. This electric car should become more affordable compared to previous versions. Today , much is already known about the budget Tesla Motors model : the creators promise a completely new design compared to Model S and Model X, an updated navigation system, an improved version of the "driver assistant" Autopilot 2.0. However, none of the 300 thousand people who pre-ordered the Tesla Model 3, until the last knows what kind of car they are buying, because developers can significantly change and modify the design of the car until the end of 2017. That's when Tesla plans to start shipping cars to customers.