Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has yet again taken to social media networking site Twitter to announce the latest in a long line of official announcements, press conferences and product upgrades.
To date, Musk used the social media platform to preview the Tesla Model S ‘D’ announcement, the 400-mile upgrade for the Tesla Roadster, and most recently, the unveiling of some new features for Tesla Model S cars that Musk claimed will ‘eliminate range anxiety’ forever.
Unlike previous events however, the unveil, which Musk says will occur in just
two days’ a month’s time at Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] Hawthorn Design Studio, won’t be a new car.
Major new Tesla product line — not a car — will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2015
If the announcement isn’t a new car, what is it?
In the past few hours we’ve heard some pretty interesting theories, including the unveiling of an all-electric pickup truck (technically not a car) through to a super-high performance electric motorcycle.
We’ve heard plenty more theories too, some of which are just a little too outlandish or tongue-in-cheek to print here. But if we had to bet money on Thursday’s big unveil, we’d have to predict it has something to do with a stationary domestic battery pack Musk first discussed during the Q4 2014 earnings call back in February.
What follows is pure speculation, based on what we understand of this unnamed and only hinted-at battery pack thus far.
The idea as we understand it is pretty simple: Tesla will produce and sell a version of the same battery pack found in each and every Model S electric sedan, repackaged to allow it to be permanently wall-mounted at home.
In an ideal world, we’d guess it would offer two-way grid connectivity, making it possible to not only draw power from the electrical grid during periods of low grid demand but also to sell it back to the grid during periods of high grid demand. We’re assuming it would also offer those with photovoltaic solar panels on their home the ability to store power generated on their roof during the day and then either using it during the night time to power the home and charge an electric car or sell that power to the local grid for a profit.
Another must-have feature would be two-way connectivity to a Tesla car, allowing the home owner to draw power from their car in an emergency to power their home in an extended power cut as well as charge their car from the power stored in their home’s battery pack.
Like the various LEAF-to-home projects we’ve seen from Nissan, we’re guessing such a system would also provide faster charging capabilities for Tesla owners than provided by Tesla’s 20 kilowatt high-power domestic wall charger, since it could draw power directly to the home battery pack rather than the electrical grid.
We’d also expect the system to offer some form of on-board computer technology offering over-the-air updates. This would allow utility companies or Tesla to improve operating capabilities and grid support technology over time.
But if we’re right and some form of battery pack is announced by Tesla on Thursday, don’t expect its acceptance in the marketplace to be a smooth one.
That’s because like the auto dealer industry, the utility industry has its own interests which it will want to protect. And while some utility companies will no doubt welcome the advent of a Tesla-built grid-connected storage system, others — and more likely those who regulate and legislate the industry — may have some concerns.
Just as Tesla stores have faced a battle across the U.S., expect some states to take exception to the idea of a Tesla domestic battery pack. Primary candidates are states like Arizona, and Indiana, where opposition to domestic power generation is strong in the legislature.
Here at Transport Evolved, we’re keen to find out just what Tesla has in store for us on Thursday April 30 and we will, of course, bring you more as we have it.
Do you agree with our prediction? Or do you think Tesla has something else up its sleeve? And do you think Tesla risks burnout by announcing yet another new product or project despite only currently offering one vehicle for sale?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.