Elon Musk is no stranger to solar energy. He is the largest shareholder of SolarCity, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of solar voltaic cells. Just this week, the CEO of Tesla Motors has announced Tesla’s intention of acquiring SolarCity in a deal that could be worth more than $2.8 billion.
Musk wrote a post on Tesla’s official blog that the offer could bridge the vertical between home and car by utilizing what he deemed “the most sustainable energy source that’s available: the sun.”
The purchase is entirely up to Tesla’s and SolarCity’s shareholders; Musk has recused himself from the final purchase process.
If the plan goes through, it would add even more pull to the already massively influential Tesla Motors. Although market analysts are casting a lot of doubt about the merger, Musk says that the addition of SolarCity could eventually mean a valuation of $1 trillion.
Tesla has already worked with SolarCity in the past to develop PowerWall, a device that allows energy from a sustainable source (ideally the sun, but wind also works) to get stored for use while those sources are unavailable. PowerWall is available to both residential and commercial customers.
Tesla Motors has already put sustainable energy practices in the mainstream with their Model 3, Model S, and Model X vehicles. With SolarCity in the mix, solar cells could be involved with the production of future vehicles.
Renewable energy sources tend to get pooled together into one, no matter how different they actually are. With Musk’s interest in solar, some have asked what the move means for his impression on other renewable sources such as wind. A recent article in the Huffington Post highlighted this, and Musk made clear that he doesn’t see wind energy having a role in what he hopes to achieve in the near future. He told reporters that companies involved in wind energy are doing “fine”.
Apart from a presumable large amount of road bumps in making the merger possible, the desire of Musk reflects his already growing confidence in the direction of solar energy. Although solar energy is growing at an alarmingly fast rate, there is still work to be done to make it more attractive at the residential level.
In his blog post, Musk said that fusing Tesla and SolarCity would allow for a more effective market reach; more so that either company would be capable of obtaining on their own. He made the point that those who either drive a Tesla or have solar panels installed in their home are more likely to be interested in the other service they don’t yet have.
At this point, there’s no saying where Tesla and SolarCity are going to be in regards to one another at this very moment, but it is a testament to the ground that solar energy is gaining.