Musk Reads: 2019 Is the 'Year of the Tesla Solar Roof'

Plus, Tesla teases the Pickup Truck and SpaceX turns up the heat.

Tesla unveils its Model Y compact SUV; SpaceX heats up the Starship’s hex tiles; and Musk teases the Tesla pickup truck. It’s Musk Reads #70.

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Musk Quote of the Week

“This is definitely going to be the year of the Solar Roof and Powerwall.”

Read more about why 2019 is the year of the Solar Roof.

Tesla alloy wheels

Tesla

The Model Y made its grand debut. The $39,000 compact electric SUV launched with a 2020 delivery date and a slew of staggering specs. The Model Y sits alongside the Model 3 and the upcoming pickup truck, which Musk teased at the Model Y launch event at the Tesla Design Studio as the company’s bid to bring electric cars to the mass market. Musk explained how the Gigafactory in Nevada, critical to these new entry-level vehicles, has surged in size while the Shanghai facility breaks ground. Read more.

Musk also declared at the same event that 2019 will be the year of the Tesla Solar Roof. After launching in November 2016 as part of a house of the future, the roof only saw limited installations on some houses in early 2018. Musk explained in the third-quarter 2018 earnings call that volume production would start after the constraints on battery supplies caused by the Model 3 were reduced. Read more.

Beyond the glamorous product launches, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week filed court documents claiming that Musk should be found in contempt of court. The commission agreed with Musk in October 2018 to a settlement that would see the CEO’s tweets about Tesla approved prior to publication. Musk attracted attention when he shared an annual production rate on Twitter last month. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to launch the pickup truck later this year at an as-yet unspecified time.

More Tesla reads from this week

  • The $35,000 Tesla Model 3 Is Here: Could Elon Musk Launch a $25,000 EV? Read more.
  • Tesla Pickup Truck: Elon Musk Set for Culture Clash as Drivers List Demands. Read more.
SpaceX

SpaceX

SpaceX demonstrated its Starship heat shields this week. The shield test, shared via Musk’s Twitter page Sunday, showed the white hot areas reached 1,650 Kelvin, or 2,510 degrees Fahrenheit, a similar temperature to the first shield tests. The shields work alongside the transpiration cooling system that makes the stainless steel sweat to stay cool. The ship is designed to travel to Mars and beyond using a liquid oxygen and methane engine, making shield tests vital. Read more.

What’s Next for SpaceX: The firm is expected to fly the Starship Hopper soon. Documents handed out to residents near the Boca Chica test facility advise that tests could start as soon as this week.

Photo of the Week

Tesla pickup truck gets a teaser:

The Ultra-Fine Print

This has been Musk Reads #70, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

*Sponsor Musk Reads and get your business in front of a brainy, curious audience that’s motivated to make the world a little better tomorrow.advertising@inverse.com.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.