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Tesla Will Buy SolarCity, To Bring Us Solar-Powered Homes And Cars

Elon Musk consolidates a clean-tech empire.

Tesla Will Buy SolarCity, To Bring Us Solar-Powered Homes And Cars

Photo: Flickr user Heisenberg Media

Tesla Motors has just offered around $2.8 billion in stock to buy SolarCity, the solar power company that was one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies back in 2012. Buying a forward-thinking solar power company seems like the perfect fit for Tesla, which might look like a car company, but could also be viewed as a battery company.

The offer, detailed on Tesla’s blog, looks like the kind of dodgy deal your local builder might make. SolarCity was cofounded by Elon Musk’s cousin, and Musk himself is the chairman. If the deal goes ahead, Musk will personally get around $600 million, which he can spend on more Martian spaceships.

SolarCity’s schtick is that it doesn’t just make solar panels. It sells the entire package—designing, installing, and leasing solar installations for homes and businesses. It even takes care of the paperwork for you. SolarCity also makes electric vehicle chargers, and makes some of those available for free to Tesla owners.

"This is something we’ve been thinking about and debated for many years," said Musk in a press call, reports Recode. "Just from a product integration standpoint and offering the most compelling experience to consumers and businesses, we really need to achieve a tighter integration of the products."

Electric cars are better than gas-powered cars, but they still run on fossil fuels, burned at the power station. Solar-powered cars, on the other hand, are way cleaner.

Apart from cars, Tesla also makes the PowerPack and PowerWall, which are essentially giant rechargeable batteries for your home or business. They’re meant to be used with solar power, charging while the sun shines to give uninterrupted electricity. In fact, the more you read about the activities of Tesla and SolarCity, the more obvious it seems that they should hook up, settle down together, and live happily ever after.

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