Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stood before a crowd at the automaker’s Design Studio in California to unveil the company’s first ever non-car product: the Tesla Motors Powerwall. This confirms a flurry of murmurings stretching back several weeks that the maker of electric cars was soon to announce a home energy storage solution.
The company’s website explains that the utility of the Tesla Motors Powerwall is threefold; it can ease strain on local power plants during peak consumption hours, help the owner avoid paying for power when it is most expensive, and provide backup power for your home in the event of an outage. Tesla explains that energy demand – and typically, therefore cost – is highest during the morning and evening hours. By replenishing at night or midday, the Tesla Motors Powerwall can save the owner money in the long run, as it can power a home during the typical peak hours. That also means less strain on the local grid.
That feature also makes the Tesla Motors Powerwall a worthwhile counterpart to, say, solar panels. Whatever extra energy is generated from them is typically sold back to the power company at a fraction of their own rate. Then, when the sun sets, you are once again buying from the power company. By instead keeping that energy in the Powerwall, you can instead hold that charge until you need it. It should also be noted that the battery pack is completely automated, so you don’t necessarily need to be taking notes.
The Tesla Motors Powerwall will come in two varieties: a 7 kWh “Daily Cycle” version, or a 10 kWh “Weekly Cycle” unit for backup duty. It’s unclear whether both units will have all of the same benefits.
Of course, such products existed well before the Tesla Motors Powerwall ever came along, but regardless of how this unit stacks up to the competition, the automaker has one definite advantage in the marketplace: brand recognition.
Because as everyone knows, just about everything that the company touches becomes front page news.