Tesla has already proven itself to be more than a flash-in-the-pan company in both the electric car business and the solar panel installation / leasing business. People are already waiting in line to give Tesla their downpayment for a car that is not to be released for at least two more years. It almost seems that everything the guy who started Tesla (Elon Musk) touches, turns to happiness for the customer and money for his company. Tesla is the “Apple” of the car and solar power industry – with rabid fans who practically worship Elon Musk, his ideas, and his ideals, and his products.
As if he wasn’t already successful enough, just a few days ago (April 30, 12015) Elon Musk announced that a new division of Tesla, to be known as Tesla Power, would start shipping a power storage battery for your home called a Powerwall around August of this year (2015).
You can go over to the Tesla site to get the specifications, but there’s quite a bit of information that is only found in bits and pieces around the internet. We’ve tried to put together most of the extra stuff here in one spot.
What Is A Tesla Powerwall?
A Tesla Powerwall is a large rechargeable lithium battery that is mounted on your home – usually in a garage, but it can go outside, too – that can power your home once it is charged. It sticks out from the wall just a little over 7 inches (180 mm) thick, it’s about 40 inches wide (860 mm) and just over 52 inches (1300 mm) tall. It comes in a variety of colors and is designed to be “ganged” together for larger kilowatt need.
There is also a larger version called the Tesla Powerpack that is meant for use by businesses and even entire cities coming out around the end of this year. They are expandable up to infinity – yep, I said infinity. If you’ve got the money, they’ve got the power.
I’ll Wait Until They’ve Been Tested In Real Life
Then go ahead and put your money down, because the Tesla Powerwall has been successfully powering hundreds of homes in California and even more than ten Wal-Marts, also in California.
I Don’t Have Solar Panels – So I Don’t Need One Of These
Au contraire, my friend. You absolutely need to consider getting one of these. Why? Well, what if you could immediately cut your electric bill in half?
In many states, including the one where I live (California), electricity can get quite expensive. I don’t know about your electric company, but San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has a system of billing for electrical use they call the “tiered” system. Which is their way of saying the more electricity you use during peak time, the more they are going to charge you for it. Tier 1 is the “base” rate and averages 16.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh). During peak periods you may get bumped up to tier 2 or tier 3. Tier 3 is 36.9 cents per kwh – ouch – more than twice as much as the tier one base cost.
With a Tesla Powerwall battery, you could do level loading. It would be possible to charge the battery during the night, when the cost of electricity is low and you’re not using hardly any electricity. The next day all your neighbors are paying tier 3 electricity costs because it’s hot outside and all the air conditioners in the neighborhood are on full blast. You, however, are paying nothing because you are running off the Tesla Poowerwall battery that got charged when electricity was cheap!
If you haven’t switched to solar panels yet and you live in an area with fairly expensive electricity and a fairly hot or fairly cold (or both) climate, a Tesla Powerwall (including installation) could pay for itself in just a couple of years. From that point on, you could actually cut your electric bill in half most months. If you’re paying anything like SDG&E rates, that would be an average savings of $30 to $100 dollars a month for the life of the battery, which is currently rated at 20 years.
Even at the lowest savings, the 7 kwh Tesla Powerwall would pay for itself in eight years. While 8 years seems like a long time to payback, you’d still get 12 years of savings. Even figuring that electric rates won’t go up for 20 years (HA!) that would be a savings of at least $4000.
How Much Does a Tesla Powerwall Battery Cost?
For residential users and really small mom and pop type businesses, the product of choice would probably be the Tesla Powerwall. It comes in two configurations, either a 7 kwh unit which is meant to be used with solar panels, but could be used in the “charge at night, use in the daytime” situation described above.
There is also a 10 kwh unit meant to be able to remain charged most of the time and power your home during prolonged (up to 3 days) power outages.
The 7 kwh is priced at $3,000 and the 10 kwh unit is priced at $3,500. There is no estimated price yet for the business Tesla Powerpack units. These prices are coming about 5 years sooner than the battery industry anticipated. Just last year, the battery power industry estimated large battery storage wouldn’t reach $300 a kwh until 2020, so Elon and Tesla are bringing that cost into reality much sooner than expected.
Either think about getting a Tesla Powerwall for your house, or at least think about investing in this forward thinking company.