Elon Musk is on the brink of acquiring the the next critical component in a solar-electric transportation future. Tesla Motors just made an offer to buy SolarCity, one of the largest solar providers in the US — a company not coincidentally founded by Musk's cousins, which Musk holds a large stake in already.
According to a post on Tesla's blog, this move will allow the people who own Tesla vehicles to achieve complete energy independence, using Tesla's coming-soon Powerwall batteries paired with SolarCity's photovoltaic solutions.
But it also will accelerate solar adoption by integrating the panels with Tesla's suite of products:
The SolarCity team has built its company into the clear solar industry leader in the residential, commercial and industrial markets, with significant scale and growing customer penetration. They have made it easy for customers to switch to clean energy while still providing the best customer experience. We've seen this all firsthand through our partnership with SolarCity on a variety of use cases, including those where SolarCity uses Tesla battery packs as part of its solar projects.
On a call today, Musk imagined that people purchasing new Tesla vehicles could simply include solar as an add-on at the time of purchase. "You can go into a store or go online and with a few clicks you can have everything from solar panels to batteries to electric cars."
The other benefit Musk revealed is a total technical integration with the Powerwall batteries — so homeowners will have the ability to control and monitor their energy needs using a single system. There will also be a commercial program as well.
Interestingly, Solar City saw its stock downgraded Monday in anticipation of interest rate hikes that might lead to more solar lease defaults.
But when asked about that concern on the call today, Musk said that the timing is more about working on integrating the panels with Powerwall batteries before they hit the market.
There's a call with Musk happening right now and I'll keep add to this story as good Muskquotes™ emerge.