Tesla acquired SolarCity in November 2016, and since then, many high-profile SolarCity professionals have parted ways with the company. The latest departure is SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive, according to Greentech.
Peter Rive is now leaving Tesla
Peter Rive, who was Tesla’s vice president of solar products, follows his brother Lyndon, who in May announced his exit to start a new venture.
A Tesla spokesperson also confirmed the exit, saying, “We can confirm that Pete Rive will be leaving the company to explore new opportunities.”
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SolarCity was founded by the Rive brothers in 2006 with the help of $10 million from Musk. The company saw a good run over the last decade with zero-down financing incentives. However, the solar firm scaled down drastically in 2015 due to high costs and lower-than-expected demand.
Things did not seem bright, right from the time Tesla acquired SolarCity for a whopping $2.6 billion. Industry experts and critics who questioned the rationale behind Tesla’s acquisition of the solar firm are now more concerned with the prospects.
Tesla is killing SolarCity’s name gradually
Troubles have been brewing for SolarCity for quite some time now. Last month, the company had to exit South Carolina just eight months after entering the state’s thriving solar market. Before Peter Rive, several high-profile executives also left the EV firm, including Chief Policy Officer Jon Wellinghoff; Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Seth Weissman; and President of Global Sales and Customer Experience Toby Corey.
Since Tesla acquired SolarCity, there has been massive restructuring going on. Right before the acquisition, the EV firm stated that it would lay off employees. The company also went on to reduce the annual salaries of CEO Lyndon Rive and CTO Pete Rive from $275,000 to $1 per year for their services, which was apparently done at their request.
Tesla has been gradually taking over SolarCity’s operations and phasing out the brand entirely by adding sales into its own stores. To ramp up its solar roof sales, the company has entered into a partnership with Panasonic to start production at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo. It was Rive’s team that developed the actual solar tiles with help from Tesla’s engineering team, notes Electrek. Now they will oversee the tiles’ production.
No solar-roofed Tesla cars for now
Additionally, just a couple of days ago when Musk fielded a question about a solar roof on the Model 3, he stated that putting a solar panel on the car is the least feasible idea, simply because the actual surface of the car is not enough, and cars are often kept inside garages. However, companies such as Toyota are already experimenting with solar roofs on their cars. Thus, in the future, if Musk finds solar-roofed cars to be a feasible idea, he has all the resources that would be required, including SolarCity’s expertise, at his disposal to just give it a shot.
On Tuesday, Tesla shares closed up 2.71% at $328.24. Year to date, the stock is up almost 54%, while in the last year, it is up almost 49%.