Is Elon Musk’s ‘Main New Product Line’ a Battery?

On Monday, Tesla Chief Government Elon Musk took to Twitter to tease a brand new product announcement: "Main new Tesla product line—not a automotive—might be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thursday at eight pm, April 30."

The tweet fueled a tidal wave of hypothesis from Wall Road and information retailers that the thriller product can be a stationary battery storage system for residential clients. There’s nonetheless no agency indication that what Musk will debut might be a battery system, or something associated to power, for that matter. However there’s cause to guess that it could possibly be.

Tesla has confirmed nothing forward of subsequent month’s announcement, however this is what Musk himself stated on the electrical carmakers’ February earnings convention name: "We will unveil the Tesla house battery or the type of shopper battery that can be to be used in individuals’s homes or companies pretty quickly. We now have the design carried out, and it ought to begin going to manufacturing in all probability in about six months or so. We’re making an attempt to determine a date to have the product unveiling, however it’s in all probability within the subsequent month or two months."

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The corporate’s been testing residential stationary batteries in roughly 200 to 250 California households, in response to a International Equities Analysis analyst observe from Monday, and it already provides lithium-ion batteries (which it additionally makes use of in its electrical automobiles) to sister firm SolarCity (additionally based by Musk).

Presumably, as soon as Tesla’s $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant—dubbed the "gigafactory"—will get up and operating, giant-scale manufacturing could possibly be accomplished from there as properly.

If some kind of battery is certainly the product on faucet at April’s occasion—and with the caveat that the world outdoors Tesla’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters has few particulars within the meantime—it might develop into a part of a a lot greater dialogue not just for the way forward for Tesla, however for energy era.

For years now, value-aggressive power storage has endured because the lacking hyperlink for renewable power, the primary roadblock to extra widespread adoption of applied sciences comparable to photo voltaic photovoltaic panels.

"Value-efficient storage has been the ‘holy grail’ of renewable power for a while," stated Jeffrey Osborne, a senior analysis analyst at Cowen and Co. overlaying various power, by way of e-mail. "The issue with wind and photo voltaic is that it isn’t ‘dispatchable’ energy to make use of once you want it and you must hope the wind is blowing or the solar is shining. Residential, business and utilities need storage mixed with photo voltaic, it’s simply very costly traditionally."

GTM Analysis, a market evaluation agency that focuses on solar energy, estimates that the mixed market of photo voltaic-plus-storage might develop to $1 billion in 2018, up from $forty two million in 2014.

It is extremely probably that Tesla intends to play a task in that market. Morgan Stanley revealed a report final July asserting that, "From our evaluation of the economics of power storage merchandise, we conclude that Tesla will probably have probably the most financial power storage answer by a big margin."

SolarCity, of which Musk can also be chairman, at present controls 30 to forty % of the U.S. residential photo voltaic market, in line with Cowen’s Osborne, and storage represents a chance to cross-promote extra merchandise to clients.

Learn Extra: Photo voltaic power’s sudden conservative backers

That stated, Tesla is not the one firm racing to get an attractively priced product onto the storage market.

Earlier this month, SunEdison introduced that it bought Photo voltaic Grid Storage. In December, SunPower unveiled a partnership with privately held Sunverge Power for each residential clients and utilities. Enphase Power and Best Energy are additionally concentrating on this area, as are begin-ups Primus Energy and EnerVault.

MIT professor Donald Sadoway has been creating one other type of stationary storage know-how referred to as liquid metallic batteries, rolling out pilot packages for bigger-scale use inside the grid by means of Ambri, an organization he began with a number of former college students. Final fall, Sadoway advised CNBC that widespread deployment of batteries might decentralize the getting old energy grid and scale back the rising value of electrical payments for shoppers.

First revealed March 31 2015, 1:forty PM

Is Elon Musk's 'Major New Product Line' a Battery?

Morgan Brennan

Morgan Brennan is a common task reporter for CNBC, based mostly on the community’s international headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. She joined the community in December 2013.

Previous to becoming a member of CNBC, Brennan was a employees author and reporter for Forbes Media the place she reported for Forbes Journal, ForbesLife Journal and Forbes.com, most lately masking actual property. Brennan started her profession at Forbes in 2009, holding a number of positions together with anchor/reporter and producer for the Forbes Video Community, masking a variety of enterprise and finance subjects.

Beforehand, Brennan was a daily visitor on quite a lot of networks discussing enterprise and financial tales and in addition interned at Newsweek Worldwide, the place she was a reality-checker and contributing author.

Brennan has interviewed billionaires, heads of state, thought leaders and chief executives of multibillion-greenback firms and her current profile story on Fairness Group Investments chairman Sam Zell was certainly one of 5 journal covers featured on the 2013 Forbes four hundred problem.

Brennan graduated summa cum laude from New York College, majoring in Social Science with a double focus in Anthropology and Media Research.

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