Introducing Tesla’s answer to home energy consumption: the Powerwall (Update – The Powerwall is sold out through 2016)
Update: If you were planning on waiting a bit to try to grab one of Tesla’s new batteries, you may end up waiting longer than you thought. The Tesla has received 38,000 reservations, including over 5,000 for the Powerpack for businesses, according to Engadget. That will account for all models produced until at least the middle of 2016.
Original Post 5/3/15: Regardless of what you think of Elon Musk and Tesla (and there are those that hate both), you have to give them credit for introducing new technology that is at the very least disruptive. Following weeks of rumors and leaks, Tesla has finally introduced its new home and business batteries, which could help to dramatically reshape the way we consume energy.
The batteries are designed to harness and store energy during the afternoon and late night when energy consumption is at its lowest. It then provides that energy back to you during your peak hours through the carbon-neutral battery. You will still use the same amount of energy, but now it will be clean energy.
Ideally, the batteries will be paired with residential and commercial solar panels, which could take your house off the grid completely. If that isn’t possible, the batteries can still store energy off the grid and then run during peak hours, cutting your bill and still decreasing your carbon footprint significantly.
“What I am going to talk about tonight is a fundamental transformation of how the world works, of how energy is delivered across the Earth,” Musk said during the announcement.
Tesla unveiled two models of the new battery, the Tesla Powerwall for home and the Powerpack for businesses. The details on the commercial model are still forthcoming, but the Powerwall will be released later this summer and you can even put your name on the list to reserve one now.
The rechargeable battery is lithium ion based, with a liquid thermal control. The home version, the Powerwall, comes in two styles. The first is a 10 kWh model that costs $3,5000; the second is 7kWh for $3,000. Both models come with a 10 year warranty, with an optional 10 year extension.
The Powerwall weighs in at around 220 lbs, they are about 3 foot by 4 foot, and about 6 inches deep. They can also be placed either indoors or out, but they will need to be installed by a professional electrician.
The reveal of the new battery really shouldn’t surprise anyone that has followed Tesla closely. The auto and battery industries may not have had more than a fleeting crossover in the past, but as far as Tesla sees them, they are very much part of the same industry.
Tesla and Musk have their fingers in many technological pies, but at its core, their work is all about making the world a more sustainable place. Musk’s other company SpaceX isn’t exactly in this same field, but it too is about using technology for the betterment of humanity – in that case, it’s thanks to space exploration.
For many of us, Tesla’s products are still slightly out of reach, financially speaking, but that isn’t to say the cost is unreasonable. If you can afford Tesla’s upcoming Tesla S for $35,000, the Powerwall’s $3,500 doesn’t bother you, and you can spare the $5,000 to $10,000 for residential solar panels (costs vary), you can eliminate your carbon footprint almost completely.
Although $45,000 is still a significant amount of money, it is at least reasonable. Especially considering the environmental benefits – and even the financial benefits that come from the money you save on energy and gas.
“Our goal is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy,” Elon Musk said in a pre-event briefing with the press. “Which sounds crazy.”
The Powerpack for business will come soon, but you can reserve the Powerwall right now. Check out the complete announcement below and start saving your pennies now.