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Musk on an IPO rampage - SolarCity and SpaceX

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Lokolo, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Lokolo

    Lokolo Member

    Jan 20, 2012
    Musk Sees SpaceX IPO in 2013 as SolarCity Awaits Lease Review - Bloomberg

    Couldn't be bothered to make 2 threads.

    But it seems SolarCity will be aiming for IPO this year and then SpaceX next year. I for one like the idea of SpaceX but not so much SolarCity, I prefer the research and manufacturer side to solar technology.

    (not sure if this would be better in the News and Media section but meh!)
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Apr 3, 2009
    I, too, would invest in space x before solar city. I've seen solar take a dive too many times, plus Tesla and SpaceX seem to be doing impressive things and pushing the envelope, while solar just seems a bit mundane. Has there ever been mention of SpaceX to have a consumer front? Something like virgin galactic taking normal people sub orbital?
  3. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

    Aug 25, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    I think the very fact that SolarCity is not in the research/manufacturing game is the perfect reason to invest in them. Solar panels are a commodity, and the Chinese government is pumping so much money into their solar companies that American manufacturers can't be expected to compete. SolarCity is a perfect investment because they can buy the cheapest panels, no matter where they come from. They are imune to the very problem that kills other solar stocks.

    They are like an Apple. They don't manufacture screens, or processors, or batteries, or anything really. They design the system. They select each part based on price/margin/functionality and build a great overall system that just works. This is what SolarCity does.

    The real innovation though is in leasing. Selling solar systems is difficult because of the up-front cost and how long it takes to reach break-even. With SolarCity's leasing program, you start to see savings from day one, the second it is switched on. This makes it a much, much easier sell.

    The only problem I see from the investment side is that there aren't really any huge barriers to entry. I don't know what would stop another company from partnering with a bank and doing the exact same thing.
  4. Lokolo

    Lokolo Member

    Jan 20, 2012
    Not sure I agree with this. People are not going to buy rubbish panels which don't save them money. We also have had the problem in the UK where they pulled out incentives for having Solar Panels (and then a lot of leasing companies that popped up when the incentives were there, have now collapsed).

    I am not sure comparing them to Apple is really like-to-like. Yes, they both design but they are entirely different markets. Apple innovated something for the everyday person, SolarCity aren't doing this, unless they really do innovate the solar business.

    I still feel the big ones in Solar are the research and manufacturers. Currently you can get 15-20% efficiency with Soalr PV cells. If a manufacturer comes up with something towards 30% they are already ahead of the game and they are going to rocket. People like SolarCity are going to want this. But are SolarCity really going to be the ones mass profiting out of this? I don't think so. That's what the similarity of research and manufacturing is what I like about Tesla (and SpaceX). They are bringing out an awesome product through their own innovation. And when they suceed, they will boom.

    Tertiary sectors for me are a big no, as a lot of the time they rely on the primary and secondary sectors to boom.

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