Tesla wants to create giant batteries to power homes

12 Feb 2015

The Tesla Model S charging. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Despite receiving some negative financial news, electric-vehicle maker Tesla is looking to expand its technological prowess by designing a battery that could store people’s home-grown renewable energy.

Tesla aims to be one of the front-runners in a growing home energy-storage industry that could be one of the first steps for homes to distance themselves from the wider electricity grid both in terms of the cost to the homeowner and assurance in the face of power cuts, according to Bloomberg.

Despite posting sales figures well below what the company would consider acceptable, Tesla and its founder and CEO Elon Musk spoke of the new home battery during its investor conference call, going as far to say the battery’s design is complete and will hit stores in the US in the next six months.

Much has been made of where the future of renewable energies, such as wind and solar, will lie in people’s homes as one of the major concerns with home-energy generation is storage, which is effectively a ‘use it or lose it’ model because of issues with storing this energy.

The introduction of energy storage also raises questions over the possibility of literally going ‘off grid’ to supply a person’s home off the back of its own energy, effectively ending energy costs.

However, speaking on the investor call, Tesla’s CTO JB Straubel said the company is not limiting itself to home use, with plans already in place to expand its fledgling commercial energy storage business.

“A lot of utilities are working in this space and we are talking to almost all of them. This is a business that is gaining an increasing amount of our attention,” said Straubel.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic