Buy a Honda (or Acura) and get $400 off solar power at your house? Sounds good to us!
In a first-of-its-kind incentive, Honda and SolarCity have teamed up to offer residents of 14 states, including Washington State, a $400 break on solar power if you purchase a Honda or Acura. It’s a unique idea and one backed up market research, according to this article. It seems like a solid marketing plan considering “(a) Honda and Acura sales in SolarCity’s 14-state area are pretty strong, and (b) Honda and Acura owners are more likely than other vehicle owners to be interested in solar power.”
Honda’s vice president for Environmental Business Development, Steven Center, references that second point fairly directly: “At Honda, we are always looking at ways to improve the lives of our customers while reducing our environmental footprint…. We believe Honda and Acura customers are going to be very interested in going solar once they find out that they can install solar at their home with little or no upfront cost, can lower their monthly utility bill, and can make a positive contribution to protecting the environment.”
As much as we think this solar power incentive is great, we think the most interesting part about this story is behind the scenes having to do with the fact that the SolarCity chairman is Elon Musk…as in Tesla Motors, Elon Musk. While Tesla and Honda may not be the biggest rivals or be direct competitors yet, Tesla does “a fairly significant alliance with one of Honda’s biggest rivals, Toyota.” In fact, Tesla bought its newest manufacturing plant from Toyota for next to nothing and Tesla is working on the battery system for the all new electric Toyota RAV4 (apparently, their goal is to build many electric vehicles together).
Considering all this, why wouldn’t Elon Musk and SolarCity create this car-buying, solar-powering incentives program with Toyota…instead of one of their biggest rivals, Honda? According to the article, no one really knows Musk’s reasons yet for choosing Honda over Toyota, but we are dying to know.
Is it because Musk wants to strategically get involved with several auto manufacturers for future endeavors? Is it because he doesn’t really like working with Toyota and wants to plant seeds with another company? (not that he’d ever admit it) Or, is it simply a business move and he expects more Hondas to sell and, therefore, create more business for SolarCity.
Why do you think Elon Musk chose Honda over Toyota?