Tesla Motors Inc has created a new glass technology group to develop its own products, according to the company’s CEO Elon Musk. In a phone call with analysts, Musk confirmed earlier reports that the automaker is betting on glass technology and its new glass technology group will produce its own glass technology for use in automotive applications, beginning with the upcoming Model 3, Electrek reported.
Comparing Tesla’s solar roof with some of the previous products that have failed in the same segment, Musk told analysts that how his company’s solar roof will be different. He mentioned that the new glass used by the automaker as a layer of its solar roof tiles. “It is using a lot of techniques used in automotive glass business. In case it wasn’t obvious with the announcement, Tesla has created a glass technology group – with some really phenomenal people,” Musk was quoted as saying by Electrek.
Tesla Glass Will Be Feature in Model 3
Musk noted that the first product from Tesla’s newly-created new glass technology group will be featured in the Model 3. According to the CEO, it’s fairly cheap to produce glass in volume and it makes sense to use the glass extensively. Musk was referring to the company’s new solar tiles, but the publication reported that the Model 3 prototypes also featured a lot of glass.
Tesla hired Mike Pilliod as the director of the Tesla Glass group. Pilliod is a material engineer, who worked as a senior materials engineer at Apple. According to Electrek, Pilliod is named on a long list of patents at the iPhone maker. Most of those patents are related to innovations in glass touchscreens and electronic devices using glass, like the iPhone. He worked directly with Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive.
The Model 3 is the first vehicle to be built on Tesla’s third-generation platform. It will be cost effective electric vehicle, but the company promises that it will not make any compromise on range and performance. The Model 3 will start at $35,000 in the US and deliveries are expected to start in late 2017.
According to the report, it will be very interesting to see what will Tesla’s glass technology group develop for the Model 3.
Gigafactory Won’t Only Manufacture Batteries: Musk
Musk recently spoke to the Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio on the topic of climate change. He told DiCaprio that 100 Gigafactories could power the world.
The automaker broke ground on the Gigafactory in 2014 outside Sparks, Nevada. The factory is designed to produce battery cell production, which is expected to begin by the end of this year.
According to Musk, electrical storage can bring electrical power to places which have no access to an organized energy grid. He finds it appealing. The CEO envisions villages in the developing nations with no access to the electrical grid to being able to jump straight to battery and solar system.
The CEO said that batteries are critical to a sustainable energy future. “We actually did the calculations to figure out what it would take to transition the whole world to sustainable energy. You’d need 100 Gigafactories.” However, he mentioned that Tesla has no plans to build 100 Gigafactories itself.
Further, Musk said that the Gigafactory is designed not only just to manufacture batteries, but to do more. The plant is also intended to serve as a template for how other companies could contribute to convert the whole world to renewable, clean solar power. The factory is not only making batteries to store solar energy for use in the future, but it is also designed to be a net zero and zero emissions operation.