This evening, Elon Musk announced a “solar roof,” a new battery system — and, most importantly — a vision for investors, as his electric car company, Tesla, and his cousin’s solar energy company, SolarCity, prepare to merge.

Tesla summarized the idea in a single photo, above.

The premise is that on your house, there’s a solar roof (available in four styles, including terracotta). Inside the garage, there’s a new Powerwall 2 battery system and car charger. The connected system pumps solar energy throughout your house and (of course) into your Tesla.

A quote from Tesla also does the trick: “solar roofs + batteries + electric cars.”

We don’t know how much this solar roof will cost. We don’t know when it’ll launch. But Musk says the goal is to make solar roofs that are cheaper, stronger, and better-looking than normal roofs. It’s a difficult premise for this city dweller to imagine (cars? garages?), but from a distance, the combination appears harmonious — like Apple’s ecosystem of products before all the dongles.

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 10.22.29 PM

Shareholders of both companies are voting on the merger soon, and it’s Musk’s job to make the deal happen. For skeptics wondering why a car company should buy a solar energy company, Musk has an answer: Tesla’s purpose isn’t to build cars, but to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Musk paints a beautiful, utopian picture. We’ll know soon if investors can see it, too.



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