Although everyone focuses on its cars, Tesla also has a business unit that focuses on energy storage. Tesla Powerpacks store electricity for commercial consumers, charging when demand and prices for electricity re lower and discharging at peak hours to mitigate the strain on the electrical grid and the cost of charging at peak times. Now, these battery systems will help support Electrify America’s EV charging stations around the country.
The Powerpacks will crop up at more than 100 Electrify America charging stations over the course of the year. All the sites will consist of a 210-kilowatt battery system with a capacity of roughly 350 kilowatt-hours. Additional capacity may be added over time. Electrify America was created by Volkswagen Group in the aftermath of its diesel cheating scandal in 2016. By July 1 of this year, it hopes to have 484 fast-charging locations with more than 2,000 chargers installed or under construction. The stations will be located across high-traffic corridors and metro areas in the U.S.
Tesla has used Powerpacks at some of its own Superchargers. But since they’re being used at an almost constant rate, the Superchargers may not need or benefit from the peak-demand management as much as much as other EV stations that have long periods of inactivity, as The Verge points out.
Last year, Tesla’s energy storage deployments nearly tripled compared to 2017. This year, Tesla looks to more than double its energy storage deployments with the help of a new manufacturing line that will increase Powerpack production at Gigafactory 1.