Rumblings about the Powerwall, Tesla’s modular home battery are kind of like rumblings about the Second Coming. They tend to be entirely speculative, and loaded with a similar level of positive anxiety among those in favor. And failures to effectively predict the release date don’t seem to do a darn thing to harm the credibility of subsequent, equally unfounded rumors. Folks ask us frequently when they can get a Powerwall, and I always tell them “best guess, last October”. Which of course didn’t happen.
It’s hard to know what assertions are mere mob hype and what’s masterfully orchestrated by a highly capable marketing department. But basically it doesn’t matter. We’ve been dealing with homemade battery backup for years, and have thought to ourselves a thousand times that a plug’n’play system would not only be a true boon to humanity and the solar industry, but that it wouldn’t be all that hard to make. Not hard for someone, that is…we obviously didn’t have the wherewithal to make it happen.
Anyway, we understand the bright, happy future that the Powerwall promises, as well as its commercial viability. Forbes calls it “just another toy for rich green people”, which it kind of is, but it’s also a big part of the future of our planet, and the rich, green, early adopters are the suckers who are going to make it affordable for the rest of us. Anyway, the Powerwall is a huge opportunity all around, and we’re super excited to be able to install them in people’s houses.
Which is why I’m writing to tell you all that a Vermont utility called Green Mountain Power is purported to be offering Powerwalls to its customers in January. The roll out seems responsibly measured–ten pilot homes, and if nothing blows up, the free-for-all ensues. We’re figuring on them reaching Texas sometime in 2016. Not holding our breath, but we’re optimistic.
It should be noted that the sticker price for an early 7kWh Powerwall is going to be a tony $6,500, not the aspirational $3,000 Elon Musk quoted at his keynote back in the spring of 2015. This is no surprise; as with all things, it’s simple supply and demand. Once they’ve milked the gadget people who buy it just because it’s cool, Tesla will no doubt scale up production, slash the price, and sell them to everyone else. I would even go so far as to say that the simple fact that it’s only double the economically viable price indicates that modular battery backup is going to be ubiquitous sooner than we expect it to be. After all, how much were people paying for 4k TVs, years before they could find anything to watch on them?
Basically, I’m writing you to say that while we still have no idea when we’re going to be able to get Powerwalls to Texans, we’re paying attention and will get them as soon as pretty much anybody. I’m also writing you to say that whereas before we had a lingering–if mild–suspicion that it was all a hoax, that suspicion has been downgraded by about 20% by this news.
Learn more about it here.