Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk is known for proposing ideas that if proposed by anyone else, might be chalked up as crazy. Musk has a reputation for pushing the envelope so when he said last fall that Tesla might offer a solar panel roof option with the Model 3, many took him at his word. However, now that the Model 3 is finally being mass produced, it’s unlikely that Tesla is going to offer this option with its first mass-market electric car.
Someone pointed out to Musk last year on Twitter that his words about using in-house glass tech on the Model 3 was giving some people the impression that the company will embed solar panels in the roof. Musk replied “We will probably offer that as an option” to that.
Musk has now confirmed that Tesla has decided to shelve this idea. Speaking at the National Governors Association a few days back, he revealed that while he had Tesla engineers actively look into the feasibility of creating a roof with embedded solar panels, it wasn’t doable.
“I pushed my team. Is there some way we can do it on the car? Technically, if you have some sort of transformer-like thing that will pop out of the trunk like a hardtop convertible that ratchets solar panels over the car, and provided you are in the sun, that would be enough to generate 20 to 30 miles a day of electricity. It’s a difficult way to do it,” Musk said.
That’s not to say that Tesla might not do this at some point in the future when there’s feasibility for this idea. As far as the Model 3 is concerned, though, you won’t be able to buy one with embedded solar panels.