In the drama surrounding the growth of sustainable technology, a few companies have found themselves occupying a large space on center stage. Recently, two of those companies shined the spotlights on their space with the prospects of a merger.
In June, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, Tesla, made a friendly bid to acquire SolarCity, a leading installer of solar panels. Tesla sees the move as a way to consolidate three related and overlapping technologies, electric cars, electric storage and solar power.
(Update: According to USA Today, Tesla has reached a deal worth $2.6 billion to acquire SolarCity.)
Tesla is the leading manufacturer of high-end EVs. The company also manufacturers Powerwall and Powerpack, sleek and contemporary energy storage devices that take up little space and allow home and business owners and utilities to store electricity from solar and other renewable sources. The company’s well-known founder, Elon Musk, is also the chairman of SolarCity.
In his recent blog post, Musk states the acquisition has always been part of Tesla’s master plan. The first iteration of that plan, which he published 10 years ago, involved manufacturing electric cars for the masses in multiple stages and providing solar power.
Musk states that, while the master plan has evolved, solar power is still one of its major components. Musk's “Master Plan: Part Deux” consists of self-driving cars tied into the sharing economy as a revenue source for owners, a more thoroughly expanded electric vehicle line and “stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage.”
The merger of the two companies is described by Musk and Tesla as a smart move toward sustainability. In its announcement of the offer, Tesla highlights the resources and attributes the two companies share, including customers, channels for sales, marketing and distribution, and overlapping technological expertise. These shared qualities make the two companies a natural fit for one another and will enable them to become what Tesla predicted will be “the world’s only vertically integrated energy company offering end-to-end clean energy products to our customers.”