Elon Musk Makes Surprising Claim About New Tesla Solar Roof

[Business ★★★]


(P1) Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his company’s new solar roof will actually cost less for homeowners to install than a regular roof, Bloomberg reports. “So the basic proposition will be: Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and, by the way, generates electricity?” Musk says. “Why would you get anything else?” According to Business Insider, Musk made the surprising pronouncement after 85% of Tesla shareholders approved a $2 billion merger with solar-energy specialist SolarCity on Thursday. Musk wants solar roofs to be “as appealing as electric cars,” Fortune reports.

(P2) Musk first unveiled Tesla’s new solar shingles last month but didn’t specify a cost. They’re made of tempered glass and specially designed solar film and, according to Bloomberg, are “virtually indistinguishable from high-end roofing products.” And therein lies the catch: When Musk says they’ll cost less than a traditional roof, he’s talking about the fancy terra-cotta and slate roofs on which they were modeled, not asphalt roofs, which can be 20 times cheaper. Still, Bloomberg states the Tesla solar roof “could be a real turning point in the evolution of solar power.”

WORDS: 193

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/234242/elon-musk-makes-surprising-claim-about-new-tesla-solar-roof.html

VOCABULARY: proposition, pronouncement, unveiled, shingles, tempered, indistinguishable, therein


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think electric cars will ever be more popular than gas/petrol powered cars? Why or why not?
  3. Would you buy and install Tesla’s solar shingles on your house? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think the merger between Tesla and Solar City makes business sense? Why or why not?


  1. According to the CEO of Tesla, what will be cheaper than a normal roof?
  2. Which 2 companies joined together in a $2 billion deal?
  3. What product to Tesla reveal to the public last month?
  4. The other 2 types of roofing material mentioned in the article are ____________ and ______________.
  5. Asphalt roofs are well above 20 times less expensive than higher end roofs. (T or F)


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • homeowners to install (P1)
  • solar-energy specialist (P1)
  • high-end roofing products (P2)
  • and therein lies the catch (P2)
  • turning point (P2)

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Image source: by AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File http://www.newser.com/story/234242/elon-musk-makes-surprising-claim-about-new-tesla-solar-roof.html

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