The Stack Archive

Tesla announces batteries to power businesses and homes in blackouts

Fri 1 May 2015

Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors has unveiled a new range of batteries that store solar energy to power homes and businesses as a back-up during grid blackouts.

In a move beyond its vehicle business, Tesla said that its new battery would be able to provide consumers with a source of off-grid power, particularly targeting those living in remote areas not supported by national energy frameworks.

CEO Elon Musk announced at an event in Los Angeles that the carmaker would start shipping the battery units to U.S. installation companies over the next few months.

Musk suggested that the new design would transform the “entire energy infrastructure of the world.” In a statement the company added that the device was “a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission power generation.”

According to industry analysts, the rechargeable lithium-ion battery named Powerwall will be designed using the same batteries used in Tesla’s electric cars. A 7kwh unit will be sold to installers for $3,000 (approx. £1,960), with the larger 10kwh unit retailing at $3,500.

Tesla will be partnering with SolarCity, of which Musk is chairman and holds the majority stake. The solar energy company will support the installation of the batteries in homes across the U.S.. Further partnerships are expected to be announced soon.

Deutsche Bank predicts as much as $4.5bn will be generated in revenue thanks to this new initiative – a healthy kick perhaps for the auto group who in February recorded a loss of $108mn at the hands of production and delivery hiccups.

Renewable energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron said that Tesla’s announcement highlighted the importance of solar power and home batteries in the future of consumer energy consumption.

“Just as the internet changed the way we use information so renewable sources, like wind and solar, are changing the way we make and use energy – and electricity storage is an important part of that change.”

He added: “Cheaper and more efficient energy storage means individuals and businesses could save renewable energy until they need it, hugely reducing the need for climate-changing fossil fuels.”


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