People have been waiting with baited breath all month since Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that a major new product announcement ("not a car") was coming from the company on April 30th. Now, days ahead of the event, word is spreading that Tesla is unveiling a new battery -- and this one is going to power your entire home.
Bloomberg reported that an email sent to Tesla investors and analysts confirmed the forthcoming announcement. And back in February, during an earnings call, Musk said the company was actively working on a home battery. "We are going to unveil the Tesla home battery, the consumer battery that would be for use in people's houses or businesses fairly soon," Musk said.
As interest builds for renewable and alternative energy sources for the home builds, Tesla could be placing itself in a strong and unique position. A powerful, efficient battery for storing solar, wind, or even excess energy from your utility company for daily use or emergency situations could be key in convincing more homeowners to adopt green energy. The Washington Post has written that analysts believe there is huge demand for a product like a home battery. Morgan Stanley predicts that as more consumers move off the grid the rising price point for those that remain with standard electrical utilities will only tip the scales further toward alternative energy.
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Tesla has already broken ground on a $5 billion "Gigafactory" in Nevada, slated to open in 2017, that will mass produce lithium-ion batteries. But one study says that Tesla's efforts will only further flood an already overcrowded lithium-ion market. Perhaps the company is betting the Gigafactory will also churn out high numbers of its home battery in addition to automotive ones.
Tesla has been a rumor mill darling this year. Aside from plans to release a $30K electric vehicle, the company was part of a swirl of rumors when several high-profile employees moved over to Apple, leading to speculation that Apple was making a play to buy Tesla or was working with the company on the Apple Car. Earlier this month news broke that a new book on Musk by Bloomberg tech reporter Ashlee Vance revealed that Tesla nearly sold to Google to the tune of $11 billion back when the company was struggling in 2013.
Update: Reports have confirmed that Tesla has sent invites to shareholders for an April 30 meeting teasing a product called "the missing piece." The Guardian reports the mystery item is in fact a battery and it will come at a $13,000 price point. Consumers will rent the battery from solar company SolarCity (which Musk owns a large stake in) for an initial $1,500 setup fee and $15 monthly payments over a 10-year period.
What do you think of this latest development from Tesla? Let us know in the comments section below.
Chris Wiltz is the Managing Editor of Design News
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