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Musk, Buffett engage in Battle Royale for Nevada utilities

And this time, it's not just Buffett's BYD vs. Musk's Tesla.

Whether it's in China or Nevada, tycoons Elon Musk and Warren Buffett can't help but compete against each other. While Musk's Tesla Motors battles the Buffett-backed BYD for electric-vehicle share in China, Musk's SolarCity solar-energy service looks to grab a bigger share of the Nevada utility market dominated by Buffett's NV Energy, the Las Vegas Sun reports. It's a classic old-school, new-school fight, and it's worldwide.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway acquired NV Energy in 2013 and is pitching the state of Nevada on reducing utility costs by building larger plants with larger solar arrays. Meanwhile, Musk's SolarCity started sales of rooftop panels in 2014, though that effort has been stymied – to NV Energy's benefit – by the state's decision late last year to boost rates and reduce subsidies for rooftop solar installations.

Musk has substantial interest in Nevada's utilities situation as Tesla continues to build out its massive Gigafactory near Reno. Additionally, Tesla is looking to expand sales of its Powerwall energy-storage units, which Musk views as an additional way for Nevada residents to store energy.

Nevada is merely the latest battleground where Musk is lobbying public officials to more enthusiastically adopt his companies' new-technology products. Musk continues to push to get more states to allow for Tesla to operate its own stores across the country, as opposed to the traditional model of selling cars through third-party dealerships. Of course, Tesla is not just competing with Detroit's Big Three for share of the automotive sales market. As Musk looks to boost Tesla sales in China, his fastest-growing competitor in the electric-vehicle market is China-based BYD, which last year more than doubled its global plug-in sales to almost 62,000 vehicles. And BYD's shareholders include Warren Buffett.

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