Tesla wants to put its car and energy storage businesses under one solar-powered roof. Tesla said Monday it will buy solar panel maker SolarCity Corp. in an all-stock deal worth $2.6 billion, the AP reports. The deal must still be approved by the government and shareholders at both companies. It's expected to close in the fourth quarter if it goes through. Thirteen-year-old Tesla currently makes two luxury vehicles—the Model S sedan and Model X SU—as well as Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage units for homes and businesses. Musk owns a 26% stake in Tesla Motors Inc., based in Palo Alto, California, and a 22.5% stake in SolarCity Corp., which is based in nearby San Mateo, California. Musk's cousins, Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive, run SolarCity, which Musk helped to found.
Tesla said Monday that a tie-up with SolarCity would create a one-stop shop for cleaner energy. With one service call, customers could get their solar panels installed and connected to a Powerwall, which preserves energy for later use. Users could also get the system hooked up to chargers for one of Tesla's vehicles. "This is really all part of solving the sustainable energy problem," said Elon Musk, the chairman and biggest shareholder of both companies, during a conference call. Vanity Fair is painting the deal as "a major step toward completing [Musk's] master plan," while the Los Angeles Times lays out the basics of that master plan: The merger "aims to create a vertically integrated company with a nationwide network of retail stores that sell electric automobiles, rooftop solar systems, wall-mounted storage units for backup power in the home and electric charging stations that channel energy from the sun to the car—most of it manufactured by Tesla itself." (Read more Tesla stories.)