Billionaire Elon Musk wants the world to run on batteries. Preferably, his batteries.
With an ambiance that resembled a stylish night club more than a corporate announcement, Musk announced Thursday the launch of Tesla Energy, a new venture into compact batteries meant to power homes, businesses and entire cities.
“Our goal here is to fundamentally change how the world uses energy,” Musk said from Tesla’s Hawthorne, California, design center. “To transform the energy structure of the world.”
It’s a bold step for the billionaire who has jumped into electronic transportation and space travel. Musk’s latest endeavor would lead the company’s battery technology, previously focused on making strides in electric vehicles, toward storing energy produced by renewable energies like solar, wind, and water power.
But it’s a lofty goal the billionaire seemed intent in making, explaining to a crowd of reporters and investors Thursday night that the U.S. electric power grid produced 2,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
“Save us, Elon!” one person yelled from the back of the room.
Tesla’s Powerwall would be ideal for homes using solar panels, Musk said, maximizing the energy generated by the panels by storing it when not immediately consumed.
According to the company, Powerwall will be available in 7kWh and 10kWh versions with the capability of powering homes during blackouts, or paired with solar panels to make homes completely self-sustainable.
“You could go independent,” Musk said. “You could go off the grid if you want.”
The price tag: $3,000 plus installation.
Other companies have already ventured into this realm, but Musk said he feels they have not been up to par.
“The issue with existing batteries is, they suck,” he said.
Tesla’s batteries are about four feet tall and six inches thick.
“It looks like a beautiful sculpture,” he said.
The company is also looking to produce a utility model that could move entire cities toward battery power, Musk said.
“It matters quite a lot these things are compact,” he said, with home models using available garage wall space, and utility models taking up no more land space than what is already used by utility companies, he said.
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SOURCE: Buzzfeed, Salvador Hernandez