Following months of speculation Tesla has announced its home battery units, which CEO Elon Musk believes could end humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels and eventually eliminate most carbon emissions.
Under the new Tesla Energy company, Elon Musk announced the Powerwall, which can comfortably attach to indoor or outdoor walls in order to provide power throughout the home.
The Powerwall proposition, which is the company’s first major product outside of its electric car line, is centred around its ability to store energy harnessed from solar panels, allowing homeowners to conserve and consume energy when there is no sunlight.
In this use case it may even be possible for solar homes to go off the grid completely.
However, Powerwall units are also designed to by charged using the traditional power grid, meaning users can amass an energy reserve at night, when the costs are lower, and then use it to power their home during the day.
Either charging method will allow Powerwall users to stay connected during power outages.
The Powerwall models, which are available to reserve now in the United States, will come in two flavours. The 10kWh unit, which the firm says has been designed for back-ups during outages, is the more expensive of the two and it costs $3,500 (around $2,281).
The 7kWh unit, which has been designed for daily use, such as in the 'load shifting' and solar consumption applications is $3,000 (about $1,995). This costing will enable home owners to make considerable savings on their energy bills down the years.
During the event late on Thursday, Elon Musk said the units will begin shipping to customers in 3-4 months. Production will be slow to begin with, but will be ramped up next year when the firm transfers operations to its new Gigafactory in Nevada next year.
Tesla has promised a roll out in Australia and Germany by the end of the year, but there's no word on a UK launch yet. The firm also plans an expansion to small businesses in 2016.
Elsewhere during the event, Musk announced Tesla Energy’s ambition to “change the way the world uses energy at an extreme scale,” with its “infinitely scaleable” Powerpack solution. These batteries can even bring power to entire industries and utility companies.
Musk says 160 million of these Powerpacks could power the whole of America, while 2 billion of them could bring power to the whole world.