Tesla is first and foremost an electric car company, but the brand has always had its eye on the big picture. In 2012, the automaker began building a network of Supercharger stations so its customers would never run out of juice, and three years later, Tesla debuted the Powerwall home battery unit. The brand has taken yet another step toward end-to-end energy dominance by offering to buy SolarCity, one of the largest solar technology providers in the world.
If the all-stock offer is accepted, Tesla hopes to become a vertically-integrated energy company, a one-stop shop if you will.
“I think most of our customers have an interest in solar; I’d be shocked if they don’t,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a conference call. “But only a small percentage of them actually have it. I think there will be a large number of customers where we can provide them with a complete solution.”
Musk’s vision of a comprehensive energy solution is not unrealistic. If SolarCity is acquired, customers could theoretically walk into a Tesla store and buy solar panels to power their home, a Powerwall to store energy, and an electric car to get them around. Those solar panels could charge their vehicle as well, which means Tesla would offer utility services from the sun to the streets.
“That’s what people want,” Musk said.
The relationship between Tesla and SolarCity is not a new one — Elon Musk serves as the company’s Chairman and Tesla has provided battery packs for various solar projects in the past. If accepted, the automaker promises to advance solar panel technology, which includes creating units that “add to the look of your home.”
For a closer look at the deal itself, check out Tesla’s blog, where a copy of the offer has been posted.