Smart solar roof tiles offered as cheaper, better alternative

Shareholders of Tesla Motors and SolarCity are scheduled to vote Thursday on whether the luxury electric auto maker should acquire the rooftop solar giant in a $2.23-billion deal.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet estimate that SolarCity is on track to report $711 million in revenue in 2016. Musk owns 22 percent of both companies.

Tesla has painted the controversial plan as a financially smart move that comes with the benefit of helping protect the planet.

Musk said earlier this month that SolarCity - the largest home solar panel installer in the US - could add $1 billion in revenue to the combined company next year and could add $500 million in cash to Tesla's coffers over three years.

"I think your faith will be rewarded", Musk said during a shareholder Q&A after the vote.

The combined company will target home-owners in a bid to sell all electric vehicles, solar panels and batteries, enabling customers to power their cars and home with clean energy. It had also raised concerns with shareholders of the company that Musk might be overburdened with lofty future goals for Tesla, the work of integrating SolarCity, and his CEO duties at SpaceX.

After SolarCity and Tesla announced shareholders had agreed to merge the companies, Elon Musk said he had just returned from a meeting with SolarCity engineers.

From there, Tesla held a grandiose event in Los Angeles to show off solar roofing tiles.

When Musk first unveiled the tiles on October 28, the pricing details were murkier.

"Tesla's shareholders have overwhelmingly approved our acquisition of SolarCity". One of the idea is to make solar-paneled roofs "as appealing as electric cars", Musk said at the event. The company recently posted its first profitable quarter in more than three years and said its next quarter will also be profitable.

The takeover will expand the electric vehicle maker's clean energy business. Musk claimed at the time that Tesla's shingles would be more durable and last longer than ordinary roof tiles, while generating electricity at the same time.

Tesla shares rose 2.6 percent to close at $188.66 Thursday.

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