Tesla Motors is bringing automotive glass in house with the formation of the “glass technology group,” and the first car to receive new glass developed for solar roof tiles is to be the Model 3.
More has to be revealed about the benefits of the glass other than it can contain heating elements, but clear – no pun intended – is that it is touted as extremely impact resistant and durable.
First reported by Electrek, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the announcement Tuesday during a call with analysts when talking about SolarCity’s new solar roof tiles for homes.
“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 said on the call.
The CEO added that the first application of the new glass to make it to Tesla’s automotive products would be the $35,000 mass market Model 3.
He followed by saying that producing glass in volume is fairly cheap and that it makes sense to use it extensively.
Tesla’s battery electric vehicles are known for large glass roofs and windshields.
The model 3 features a full-length glass roof stretching from the windshield to the rear window, and the Model X has the largest glass panoramic windshield in production.
It’s not known if the new glass will be used on the Model 3’s windshield, roof or both. Musk said later that the heating elements can clear snow while generating energy, adding that it wouldn’t waste energy while using the heating elements.
As for one of the people Musk is calling phenomenal, that would be Mike Pilliod, who is the director of the Tesla Glass group.
Previously the Sr. Manager, Manufacturing Technologies at Tesla, Pilliod was one of Apple’s top materials engineers and is named on a long list of patents relating to glass touchscreens and electronic devices using glass, like the iPhone.