Tesla battery pre-orders ‘crazy off the hook’, says Musk

7 May 2015

As understated as ever, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s quarterly earnings call that it can’t keep up with demand for its home battery unit, describing it as ‘crazy off the hook’.

The home battery only made its official debut on 30 April but, in the space of a week, the company has taken 38,000 pre-orders for the unit, taking it right up until the middle of 2016 at the earliest.

According to Fortune, Musk, in his call to investors, said that its new product, which aims to store home-created renewable energy to be used within the home and electric vehicles (EVs), is in such high demand that the company is considering turning over its Gigafactory 1 battery production facility entirely to its latest product.

The company has also taken the decision to create a larger battery pack known as the Powerpack – equal to about 10 of the regular batteries – for uses by larger homes and SMEs, which even now has seen 2,500 pre-orders.

Off-the-grid living not advised

By Musk’s estimates, each individual order is for between 1.5 and two battery packs, totalling approximately 60,000 in total.

Certainly, it appears that those buying the units have money to spare given that the 10kWh unit sells for US$3,500, its 7kWh unit is slightly less at US$3,000, while the larger Powerpack will be charged by the hour at US$250 for every 60 minutes of use.

Speaking to investors, however, Musk said the realities of costs would not exactly favour total off-the-grid living.

“If someone wants to do daily cycling off-grid, it’s going to be more expensive than being on-grid,” Musk said. “That doesn’t mean people won’t buy it. There are people who want to go off-grid on principle, or they just want to be independent.”

This marks positive news following the release of Tesla’s Q1 results prior to Musk’s comments, which showed that the company had posted losses, but less than had been predicted by market analysts.

Elon Musk image via NVIDIA Corporation/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic