SolarCity, the solar-energy company that sounds like an exhibit at a kids’ science museum, has Elon Musk as its chairman and largest stockholder. Tesla, the electric car company that sounds like a metal band, also has Musk as its largest shareholder. In a staggering coincidence, Tesla just officially bought SolarCity for $2.6 billion, the AP reports.
Tesla’s stock is up a bit from the news, up 0.2 percent to $235.30.
The most likely reason for the merger between Tesla and SolarCity has less to do with Tesla’s cars and more to do with their battery-based energy storage technology. This move really isn’t that surprising when you consider that right there in Musk’s very first Master Plan from 2006, it says (emphasis mine):
. . . the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution.
If that’s not enough for you, remember, all this was announced a couple months ago, which made Tesla’s shareholders pretty pissed. That doesn’t appear to have made Musk donate a rat’s ass, because, of course, the deal is going ahead. (Also, it’s run by his cousin, which isn’t weird at all.)
Things could still hypothetically stop, since SolarCity is in a 45-day “go shop” period, where it can solicit other offers (though it’d have to pay Tesla about $80 million if it backed out) and Tesla’s (and SolarCity’s) non-Musk shareholders get their say, too.
Still, if this all happens, the newly solar-powered Tesla will be closer to being a complete vertical solution for home and automobile energy. Well, provided it’s sunny enough.