Tesla Motors Inc plans to unveil its first non-car product line on 30 April, which, according to the automaker, would be stationary batteries.
The electric car maker would offer two types of batteries: one that powered homes, and the other for utility use.
The Palo Alto-based company would source solar panels from sister company, SolarCity Corp, which would allow the battery to store energy from sunlight. However, it remained unclear how deep the partnership between Tesla and SolarCity would be, ie, how many batteries would be set for Tesla customers.
According to Bloomberg, the company’s battery products were tested at 300 homes in California and 11 Wal-Mart stores. According to commentators, regardless of the hype around Tesla’s move to jump into the stationary battery market, the market would not be easy to win as there were a lot of potential players also entering the battery market.
With solar energy gaining traction, many tech companies too had started banking on renewable technologies and Alevo, a new battery startup, was looking forward to expand its commercial battery business and had last year raised about a billion dollars in private funding. The Swiss-based company had also created ”GridBanks,” cargo containers with thousands of battery packs that could generate enough power to light up about 1,300 homes for about an hour.
Meanwhile, though Musk would reveal the energy storage battery on 30 April, the exact form of the product was not clear as yet, and despite a surge in shares earlier this week, there was some investor nervousness about Tesla’s entry into the home energy storage market.
There were many questions about how the business would work and whether it was just a distraction from the company’s Model S sales slump and Model X shipping delays. What really mattered, however, was whether it would work.
According to commentators, among other things what the Tesla Home battery needed to be compelling was a name that it can be sold under, and it needed the look and feel of something that was desirable. The company was looking to add value to storing energy at home, one way it could do so was to make batteries cool.
Jeff Siegel, editor at Energy And Capital said he expected the battery to be able to sit on a wall in the home and become a conversation piece.