American Honda Motor Co., Honda Motor Co's unit in the United States, has reached a partnership agreement with solar power firm SolarCity Corp on a $65-million fund to help its customers and dealerships finance solar projects. The fund is expected to finance solar power systems for between 2,500 and 3,000 residential homes in the US, as well as 10 to 20 dealerships.
SolarCity, which installs and maintains the panels, has raised similar funds from banks like US Bancorp and from Google Inc. This will be the first time that SolarCity is partnering with a carmaker, according to Steve Center, the company’s vice president of the environmental business development office.
Center said that they have some of the most sought after customers in the marketplace. With the funds, homeowners will now just have to pay a monthly fee for their solar panels, rather than paying for them all at once. Such financing in the solar industry has made households who could not afford solar panels consider the power system.
The partnership is part of Honda's goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050, the carmaker’s executives said. As the owners of the panel systems, Honda and SolarCity could claim a federal tax credit valued at 30 percent of the value of the system.
SolarCity chief executive Lyndon Rive told Reuters that he hopes that the partnership sends a message to other corporations to follow. Honda customers could claim an additional $400 discount more than what they would directly receive from SolarCity.