Tesla To Design Its Own Glass In-House

Posted: Dec 1 2016, 10:41am CST | by , in Cars & Vehicles


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Tesla to Design Its Own Glass In-House
photo: tesla.com

Tesla has decided that it can make it's own glass. Will it be safe?

Tesla, the current leader in everything from electric cars to solar panels, has done it again. CEO Elon Musk has announced the company will be designing its own glass for use in automotive applications and solar panels. This new Tesla Glass program will enable the company to design and craft its own glass while keeping overhead low because everything is done in-house.

What is so special about this new Tesla Glass? Will its use be restricted to Tesla products, or is it something that could potentially make its way into the mainstream automotive industry?

What Is Tesla Glass?

To be quite honest, we don’t really know too much about Tesla Glass yet. What we do know is:

It’s being engineered, designed and built in-house by a program known as Tesla Glass, headed by Mike Pilliod. Pilliod has been working for Tesla since the beginning of 2014 and has a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering and material science.

Its first applications will be in Tesla’s solar panels and the new Model 3 prototype electric cars.

It is very heavy duty, at least when compared to other roofing materials like terra cotta, clay and slate tiles.

Currently, there isn’t a whole lot of other information available about this new glass. Most sources have been able to confirm there is indeed a Tesla Glass division at the company and it’s working on making in-house glass for use in solar panels and cars. Beyond that, Musk and his crew are being uncharacteristically secretive about the project.

Concerns About Safety

When it comes to automotive glass, there isn’t a lot of competition. Most original equipment manufacturer (OEM) glass comes from half a dozen companies, as well as a few aftermarket and third-party companies that also handle the manufacture and shipment of automotive glass.

The regulations surrounding the production and shipment of glass used for automotive applications are much stricter for companies that manufacture OEM glass, because these companies ship their products to factories and dealerships. This ensures the highest-quality products are always used in vehicle production.

Right now, if Musk chose to market his new Tesla Glass, his company would likely be considered a third-party manufacturer, making it harder to get this new product into the mainstream industry.

Projections and Possibilities

Tesla Glass has already shown great potential in Musk’s camouflaged solar shingles, which provide power without the bulky look of traditional solar panels. While clear from the top to allow sunlight to hit the solar panels, the glass looks opaque to anyone looking at the house from street level. It’s also durable enough that you can walk on it just like regular shingles, making roof maintenance much simpler.

With the minds he’s gathered together to work on this project, Tesla Glass may be able to provide one of the strongest types of glass ever. Musk has already planned at least two applications for it, so there’s no telling where it might go next. Who knows? Maybe your next cellphone will be made of indestructible Tesla Glass.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.




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