Tesla Energy: Changing How Businesses, Homes Use Power

Tesla Energy: Changing How Businesses, Homes Use Power

Founder Elon Musk is leading the electric-car pioneer into the energy infrastructure business. Amazon and Target are among those with pilot projects in the works.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Thursday introduced Tesla Energy, a line of large batteries for residential and commercial use. The batteries are part of Tesla’s overall renewable energy strategy, which includes commercial pilot programs with Amazon and Target.

“I think we collectively should do something about this [dependence on fossil fuels],” said Musk at a press event, pointing to a graph showing rising carbon dioxide levels, “and not try to win the Darwin Award.”

Tesla Energy redefines Tesla Motors, which now characterizes itself not as an automotive company but as “an energy innovation company.”

Tesla Motors has always been more than a car company. It is a software and services company, and an energy infrastructure company, thanks to the need for charging stations to support its vehicles. By entering the residential battery market, Tesla is broadening its aspirations in the energy industry.

Musk mentioned his intention to enter the high-capacity battery market back in February. Such batteries provide a means of storing energy from solar panels or the electrical grid, of ensuring energy availability during blackouts or at night for those dependent on solar power, and of mitigating energy prices when demand for power is high. Tesla expects its Powerwall line of residential batteries to begin shipping in late summer, with prices ranging from $3,000 (7 kWh) to $3,500 (10 kWh), plus installation.

Musk’s pitch to potential battery buyers is simple: “The issue with existing batteries is they suck,” he said. “They’re really horrible.”

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