BMW and US installer Solarcity have signed a partnership agreement in the US.
Owners of BMW’s i series of electric cars in the 14 states Solarcity operates in, will be able to sign-up for a 10% discount on Solarcity’s home package.
“This partnership makes the more sustainable fuel option – emissions-free solar electricity – also the more affordable one,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO, Solarcity.
“By making renewable energy far more accessible and affordable for its customers, BMW is helping to bring clean transportation into the mainstream,” added Rive.
Solarcity boss Rive is the cousin of Elon Musk, founder of the Tesla electric car manufacturer. Musk is also a major shareholder in Solarcity.
In less glamorous but more significant news, the Solarcity also announced that the interest rate for its solar secured bonds will be just 4.8%. It is the first Asset Backed Security (ABS) used by the industry and opens the door to a new form of investment.
Deutsche Bank analyst Vishal Shah had expected the company to pay around 6.5% to borrow money secured against its basket of long-term solar power contracts.
“The [interest rate] is a significant positive for the industry, in our view. First, it is better than our expectations of ~6.5% interest rate and a lot lower than the current form of tax equity financing, where interest rates can be as high as 15%,” said Shah. “Second, this transaction opens the gates for other companies that are also looking to raise money through ABS markets.
“Bottom line, the Solarcity ABS transaction improves overall sector profitability and sets the stage for a lot stronger growth of the US solar market over the next 12-18 months. Besides Solarcity, we expect SunPower and the broader solar sector to be primary beneficiaries,” he added.