If you own a Tesla Model S, you’ve probably at least once thought that you love it so much you could live in it. Well, now Elon Musk is doing you one better, bringing Tesla battery technology into the home. The new Tesla Powerwall, a solar-charged home battery and backup system, shows that Musk’s visionary ambition for his company go well beyond four wheels.
The Tesla Powerwall battery stores excess solar energy from your home solar panels during the day, so you can use it later in the evening when energy costs from the grid are higher. The technology is part of Tesla’s company mission to support zero emission power generation, and is apparently easy to install, fully automated, and requires no maintenance. It mounts to the wall and uses a liquid thermal control system. Even if you don’t have solar cells, the Powerwall can charge up overnight when energy rates are lower, then run your home on that cheaper electricity during the day.
The Tesla Powerwall uses the same lithium-ion battery technology seen in the Model S. Guaranteed for ten years, the battery can be purchased with either 7 kWh or 10 kWh capacity. Power from the battery ranges from 2.0 kW to a peak of 3.3 kW. The smaller battery is optimized for daily use cycles, while the larger Powerwall is meant for backup use in case the main power grid were to suddenly go down. In addition to home usage, Tesla is also promoting the Powerwall for businesses that need a reliable power source, and notes that multiple batteries can be employed together for greater backup or energy storage needs.
For Tesla, the Powerwall is yet another way people can buy into a zero-emissions lifestyle. A huge part of the appeal of the Tesla Model S, aside from the fuel savings and driving experience, is the lower reliance on fossil fuels. With the addition of Powerwall, it’s entirely possible for a Tesla Model S owner to plug in their car in their garage in the evening, and recharge the battery completely on solar energy harvested during the day and stored in Tesla’s own battery.
What’s perhaps most impressive about Powerwall is that it enables would-be Model S buyers with an opportunity to more easily adopt electric-energy habits and home integration. Tesla not only offers an electric vehicle, but also technologies that make it easier and more affordable for people to switch from regular gas-powered cars with the right equipment and infrastructure.
Prices for the 7-kWh Tesla Powerwall starts at $3,000, or $4,000 for the larger 10-kWh unit. You can reserve your Powerwall now on Tesla’s website, with deliveries expected to begin this summer.