The Business Model of SolarCity (now Tesla Energy)
SolarCity Corporation was a publicly listed corporation based in Fremont, California. The company sold and installed solar energy generation systems, as well as other associated products and services, to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Peter and Lyndon Rive, cousins of Tesla, Inc. CEO Elon Musk, launched the company on July 4, 2006. Tesla acquired SolarCity for around $2.6 billion in 2016 and reorganized its solar operations as Tesla Energy. SolarCity concentrated its efforts on door-to-door sales of leased systems, in which customers paid no upfront fees but agreed to purchase the electricity generated by the panels from the firm for 20 years. SolarCity's business model became the most popular in the United States and propelled the company to become the largest residential solar installer, but it saddled the company with over $1.5 billion in debt by the time it was acquired in 2016, drawing criticism from consumer advocates and government regulators.