Elon Musk’s electric car company, Tesla Motors is looking to buy solar panel maker SolarCity for up to $2.8 billion in an attempt to create a one-stop shop for cleaner energy, as consumers become more concerned about fossil fuels harming the environment.
The 44-year-old Elon Musk is the chairman of both companies and the largest individual shareholder in each, with a 26 percent stake in Tesla and a 22 percent stake in SolarCity. The solar panel company’s CEO, Lyndon Rive, is Musk’s cousin.
Tesla is pursuing SolarCity 14 months after introducing a battery system that stores solar energy in homes and businesses trying to minimise their dependence on the power grids run by utilities. The battery, called “Powerwall,” marked Tesla’s first product outside the sleek and expensive electric vehicles that the Palo Alto, California, company has been making since 2008.
Musk said in a Tuesday conference call that he believes both Tesla and SolarCity will be better off if their products are united under one roof and a common brand.
If the deal goes through, SolarCity will adopt Tesla’s name and sell its solar panels alongside power-storing batteries, Musk said. He reasoned that many of the people who want to drive electric vehicles will have an inherent interest in setting up cleaner energy systems in their homes and offices.
If Tesla and SolarCity are combined, Musk envisions a more efficient operation that dispatches just one team to install solar panels, electric car chargers and energy-storing batteries in a single visit.