Document and Entity Information
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2016
Document And Entity Information [Abstract]  
Document Type 10-Q
Amendment Flag false
Document Period End Date Sep. 30, 2016
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2016
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q3
Trading Symbol SCTY
Entity Registrant Name SOLARCITY CORP
Entity Central Index Key 0001408356
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding 100,739,878