Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motor Company, has announced that the same battery technology behind the Tesla car will now be available for homeowners who want to extend the power of their electric solar panels. The goal of these new batteries is to more evenly distribute home energy use between peak solar energy production Read the full article…
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motor Company, has announced that the same battery technology behind the Tesla car will now be available for homeowners who want to extend the power of their electric solar panels. The goal of these new batteries is to more evenly distribute home energy use between peak solar energy production times, when the sun is shining, and peak energy use times, which are often at night.
The new batteries will have limited availability within the next three to four months. By 2016, they will be produced in Tesla’s so called “gigafactory” in Nevada, the same facility that will soon supply batteries to the company’s Tesla car. This new factory will allow production to increase dramatically, boosting the availability for both these new batteries and the Tesla car.
The home battery will come in two forms: a wall mounted battery for homes and small businesses called the Tesla Powerwall, and a utility scale version of the battery called the Tesla Powerpack. Like the battery in the Tesla car, these wall mounted batteries will use lithium-ion battery technology. The Powerwall will be available in a 7 kilowatt-hour system for $3,000 and a 10 kilowatt-hour system for $3,500.
Like the company’s flagship product, the Tesla car, this technology has the potential to dramatically disrupt dominant industries, especially those who work with fossil fuels. For existing homes with enough electric solar panels, the addition of a Powerwall system could essentially take the home off the grid. For new homes built with a Powerwall and electric solar in mind, homeowners may never have to pay another electric bill. If they chose to charge their Tesla car at home, homeowners with this technology may never pay for gas again either.
While the company will continue to make the Tesla car, this new venture into home energy storage means that Tesla is more than just a car company now. Moving into the energy industry gives the company the opportunity to build on their initial success with the Tesla car and to grow more than they could while focusing only on cars.
One advantage for growth which the Powerwall has over the Tesla car is that it has the potential to be a “leapfrog technology” in developing regions that may not yet have an established utility grid. The success of the Tesla car in any market will always depend on the existence of infrastructure, such as roads. The Powerwall, however, offers immediate benefits to homes in regions that may not yet have a traditional energy infrastructure. This potential leads some business analysts, including Karl Brauer from Kelley Blue Book, to predict that, in the long run, this energy storage venture might be even more profitable than the Tesla car.
Elon Musk – Tesla’s Energy Announcement | CC BY youtube.com