Tesla hoping to make its cars even cleaner with purchase of SolarCity

Harnessing the power of the sun.


Published Jun 22, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 1:50 pm CDT

Elon Musk wants his Tesla automobiles to harness the power of the sun, and is throwing down $2.8 billion to make it happen. Tesla Motors announced yesterday that it would be putting in a stock-to-stock offer to purchase SolarCity, one of the largest solar energy companies in the world. 

The acquisition, which Musk declared “blindingly obvious,” would transition Tesla from a primarily automobile-making company to a vertically integrated energy company. The automaker expressed on its website the benefits customers would gain from the deal.

“This would start with the car that you drive and the energy that you use to charge it, and would extend to how everything else in your home or business is powered. With your Model S, Model X, or Model 3, your solar panel system, and your Powerwall all in place, you would be able to deploy and consume energy in the most efficient and sustainable way possible, lowering your costs and minimizing your dependence on fossil fuels and the grid.”

The two environmentally-conscious businesses already have a strong relationship. Musk serves as chairman of the energy company and is also its largest shareholder. His cousins are co-founders and CTO/CEO of SolarCity, which recently reached out to Tesla Energy to supply batteries for a solar array it’s building in Hawaii.

Tesla Motors said in a statement that it believes the partnership would be beneficial for its shareholders, though Wall Street is showing some opposing opinions. Tesla Motors has seen an 11 percent decline in stock while SolarCity’s stock increased 15 percent since announcing the purchase. 


What this means for future Tesla owners is that they may soon have an “end to end” clean energy product. In a conference call yesterday Musk said he sees solar energy as an add-on at the time of purchasing one of his cars. On the other hand, home owners will be able to use SolarCity’s photovoltaic solution to charge Tesla’s Powerwall batteries, which are designed to provide energy to a home using solar panels.

“The world does not lack for automotive companies. The world lacks for sustainable energy companies.” – Elon Musk

Musk is clearly sending a message that his already revolutionary successes are not enough. With Space X rockets landing on a dime, Hyperloop well in the swing of things, and new Tesla models getting money thrown at them, Musk moves on to his next project—one aimed at saving the earth—all while he sets up alternative habitats for its impending demise. 

H/T Gizmodo

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*First Published: Jun 22, 2016, 12:51 pm CDT