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Tesla to ramp up production of solar roof tiles in Buffalo

Chris Caya

Tesla announced surprising profits of $143 million for last quarter, raising hopes the electric car pioneer may finally be turning around mostly losses as a publicly held company over the last decade. In a webcast Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk also had good news for Buffalo's SolarCity.

"We're scaling up production of Version 3 of our solar tile roof at our Buffalo gigafactory and I think this product is going to be incredible," Musk announced, "but we'll talk more about on the official product launch."

Musk said the new product will be launched Thursday afternoon.

He said Versions 1 and 2 were "still improving things up," while this Version 3 of the Tesla solar roof tile is integrated with the roof and "finally ready for the big time."

Credit Tesla

Earlier this year, the alternative energy tracking website Electrek released a first look at Tesla’s V3 solar roof tile technology with custom fittingsand the first real Tesla Solar Roof quote.

"The price was shockingly high, but Tesla argues that it’s worth it when adding the electricity savings over time," according to Electrek.

It reports "Tesla plans on ramping up Solar Roof Tile production to 1,000 roofs per week by the end of the year."

New York State spent more than $600 million building Tesla's SolarCity factory in South Buffalo, with the promise of new jobs and new economic growth. However, doubts have been growing the money was well spent. Tesla stock has fallen 23% so far this year.

Other encouraging news was Musk's announcement that Tesla's Shanghai, China gigafactory has been rebuilt, after a devastating typhoon.

While a lot of the people see the outside shell of the factory, which is enormous, it was essentially under water in January. It was below the water table, literally," Musk said.

He said the renewed factory will now "become a template for future growth." 

That said, Musk announced a third gigafactory being built in Europe. He said the location of that factory will be made later this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this story. Since this story was posted, Tesla has delayed its product launch until Friday.

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