Tesla, the company so far famous for electric cars, is trying to conquer much, much more. Last night, CEO Elon Musk finally lifted the curtains off Tesla Energy, its long-anticipated battery system for powering homes, businesses, and potentially public utilities. The product aimed at average homeowners is the Powerwall, a shield-like pack that measures three feet by four feet in size and six inches thick, and can be hung indoors or outdoors. Targeting solar energy adopters, Powerwall stores electricity generated from solar panels during the day and saves it up for use at night and as a backup supply.
The product, which comes in several different colors and can lock onto additional units (↓), could potentially help homes go off-grid completely. Powerwall comes in a 7 kWh version for $3,000 and a 10 kWh version for $3,500. While you can reserve one online this very moment, it won't be released until late summer.
"Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy," Musk said at yesterday's event, which was entirely powered by stored solar energy. The larger system, aimed at businesses, industrial operations, or even public utility companies, is called Powerpack. According to Musk, 160 of those can power the U.S. and 2 billion can power the world.
Overall, these new products may very well usher in an energy revolution, one that can cut utility bills or eliminate them altogether. As more homeowners explore sustainable energy, there will necessarily be a greater need for energy storage. Solar City, a major provider of solar energy systems, has actually already been running a pilot program pairing its panels with Tesla batteries. Musk expects this combined system to "drive the price of solar below that of natural gas." Head to The Verge for extended coverage.