Tesla Motors may be expanding its business into your home. The company is expected to unveil a line of home batteries later today for use with solar panels, which the company’s CEO Elon Musk also has interest in through SolarCity, his photovoltaic installation outfit.
Most media outlets agree on the broad strokes of what tonight’s announcement will be about (big, big batteries for home use, not for cars). Anything further than that is guessing and wishing — no surprise, there.
Tesla Motors may drop the motors and just go with Tesla, like Apple dropping computer from its name. The company will lease the batteries (though to be fair, this yarn has some validity seeing as how SolarCity uses this model and it supplies its customers with Tesla-branded batteries). Tesla will be introducing the batteries with utility partners.
This much is known: Tesla Motors needs a hell of a lot of batteries for its cars. Tesla Motors’ cars are very desirable and are popular with people who have the money to buy them. The company will be building its Gigafactory, or a factory that will only manufacture batteries, in Nevada and Musk expects the factory to eclipse all current battery production in five years. The prices of batteries have been dropping faster than anyone’s expected; electric cars are expected to be competitive with dinosaur-soup powered vehicles within the next few years. Batteries are necessary to maintain the existing power grid because the existing power companies are struggling to integrate residential energy sources that put electricity back into the grid.
In short, whatever the announcement it, it’s going to be more than just a name change.
In any case, we’ll find out what Tesla has in store for batteries in the next few hours.
Photo by Arnold de Leon (arnolddeleon)/flickr.