As of right now, plenty of people have adopted Tesla Motors Model S electric vehicle into their lives. They no longer have to rely on filling up on petrol and directly producing harmful emissions. Sort of. Instead of the hurt coming directly from a tailpipe, it’s coming from factories producing batteries, and it comes from the factories producing energy that is sent to your home that charges the electric car. With the Powerwall, Musk wants to eliminate that second part, or at least reduce it.
Essentially, Musk’s vision sees the sun’s energy captured in solar panels on every home. That energy will then filter into the home’s Powerwall, which will store that energy and use it during times when there is no other sunlight to directly power the home (mornings and evenings), thus eliminating the need to pull from the current power grid. That stored power could then charge your Model S overnight, for example. It could also fill energy gaps when there are power outages.
The Powerwall comes in two sizes: 10 kWh for $3,500 (“for backup applications”) and 7 kWh for $3,000 (“for daily cycle applications”). The lithium-ion pack weighs 220 lbs, it’s about the size of a suitcase, it can be mounted anywhere, and you can pair up to nine units, if you need more storage. And, yes, they come in different colors. These models are available now and will start shipping out during the summer, but expect backorders. Production will really ramp up when the Nevada Gigafactory is completed.
If you’re unable to afford solar panels (which are not included in the purchase), the Powerwall could still help you save money in the long run. During peak hours, electricity from a grid costs you more. The Powerwall allows you to buy the energy at off-peak hours and store that for later use, instead of buying at the same time as everybody else, putting more stress on the grid. But the plan doesn’t stop there.
Musk also introduced a larger battery called the Powerpack for bigger enterprises like businesses and utilities. The Powerpacks, which are 100 kWh battery stacks, can “scale infinitely,” reaching as much as 10 MWh, if needed. That’s how Musk plans to power his gigafactories (he mentioned eventually building multiple), with the help of another company he’s involved with, Solar City.
Naturally, to juice up the idea and give viewers an idea of the scale he envisions, Musk laid out some numbers of what would be needed to eliminate fossil fuel energy. According to him, 160 million Powerpacks could power the United States, and 2 billion could power the world. He also let everybody know that the entire event last night was solar powered.
“Is that a crazy number?” Musk asked. “No, it’s not … This is actually within the power of humanity to do. It’s not impossible.”
We’ll see, Mr. Musk.