The wait is over! On April 30th, at its design studio in Hawthorne, California, Tesla Motors Inc. will unveil its new product line, and it’s not a car. In an email sent out to investors and analysts on Tuesday, it was reported that Tesla would be announcing a home battery and utility-scale battery.
Khobi Brooklyn, a Tesla spokeswoman, said that “we’ll share more information next week.”
We had gotten rumor of this new battery
back in February when Elon Musk discussed it during an earnings call,
but no additional details were made available at that time. In just
under a week, we will finally be able get those details. How much will
they cost? What hardware will be used and supported? Will these build
upon the concepts in existing home batteries? Are they rechargeable? If
not are they recyclable?
Tesla announced last September its plans to build a new Gigafactory
in Reno, Nevada, 62 million has been spent so far. When all is said and
done an estimated $5 billion will be spent on this project. Tesla plans
to begin building lithium-ion batteries at this facility in 2017. The
lithium-ion battery technology is being positioned to be the front
runner in emerging energy storage that also provides supplementary
electricity. Could this technology ultimately threaten our traditional
electric grid? These new batteries when combined with the rapidly
expanding residential solar market present exciting new opportunity’s
for off the grid living.
Tesla has teamed up with SolarCity, a company chaired by Musk and ran
by his cousin Lyndon Rive. Founded in 2006, the company has over
160,000 customers and controls almost 40% of the residential market.
Solarcity installs panels for both commercial and residential
applications and leases them for less than what you pay on your energy
bill, and they sell surplus energy back to local utility’s. This model
has proven to be extremely successful for SolarCity. They have begun
installing Tesla batteries mostly in commercial buildings at this time.
The batteries allow them to store excess energy for use during peak
hours. This has shown to shave off 20-30 percent of energy bills.
Solar City is currently running a pilot program with around 500 homes in
California. The project is using 10-killowatt-hour battery packs that
supply homes with about 2 days of power in the event of an outage.
Electric cars, space exploration, low-cost wireless internet for
anyone, and now home batteries. Tesla Motors Inc has shown us that they
are not just car makers, it begs to question what does Tesla have in
store for the future?