US electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors has hinted that the company may have developed a residential-use battery pack within six months.
Tesla said it had finished the design of a pack powerful enough to electrify a house and “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,” said the company’s CEO Elon Musk during a call to media regarding the company’s latest earnings figures.
Mr Musk said at a conference last year that he planned to develop a product for use in people’s homes and not their cars.
Musk said: “We are trying to figure out what would be a cool stationary [battery] pack,” Musk said.“Some will be like the Model S pack: something flat, 5 inches off the wall, wall-mounted, with a beautiful cover, an integrated bi-directional inverter, and plug and play.”
The company’s chief technology officer JB Straubel also added to the building momentum surrounding the product by telling the press that the new type of battery is likely to be unveiled in the next “month or two”, adding that the idea is “really great” and “I’m really excited about it”.
The update on the home battery pack came amid disappointing sales figures for the EV manufacturer.
Tesla missed its projected fourth quarter sales of 11,200, shipping only 9,834 Model S cars.
Using car batteries for home energy storage
The manufacturer isn’t the only automobile maker looking to get into the home energy storage market.
Nissan is promoting its EV car LEAF as a good source of ‘vehicle to building’ power transfer, while the fuel cell in the Toyota Mirai can reportedly be taken out from the car and used to power the average home for a week.
In Germany, Volkswagen has donated 100 batteries from its eGolf cars to create a battery storage facility for the local utility company as part of a pilot project, writes car blogger Steve Hanley.
Mr Hanley explains that a battery that can no longer be used in a car still retains 70% of its energy storage capacity.
The idea between the VW pilot is to allow the electric company to store excess power during off peak times and draw on that stored energy during periods of peak demand.