For Tesla Motors, it’s not just about electric cars anymore. It’s about much more. Tesla founder and brain-child Elon Musk’s vision for his vehicle company appears to be changing lanes.
Last week, Tesla changed just one word in its mission statement, but that single word says a lot about the changing direction of Musk’s company. Tesla’s website used to have a mission to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport“. The mission is now to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”. The shift to this one word represents a complete company shift.
So what does this small but noticeable change mean? With Tesla’s Model 3 vehicle still on track to begin mass production sometime in 2017, Musk is moving forward with plans to buy SolarCity. It’s the largest rooftop solar installer in the U.S., and it also happens to be another company founded by Musk.
A Tesla-SolarCity merger would essentially put solar-electric supply and demand under the same umbrella for customers of both companies. Musk sees a scenario where people would have the convenience of being able to purchase a new electric car and finance a solar carport for it at the same dealership.
While Musk sees the decision as a no-brainer, not everyone is in love with the idea of the estimated $2.8 billion purchase. Investors are concerned about the major costs in building Tesla’s massive new Gigafactory in Nevada and are also worried about the company’s ability to meeting production deadlines. It remains to be seen how the next several months will play out for Tesla, but there are plenty of other companies expanding their own renewable energy offerings, that will be keeping a close eye on the results.