Not a car: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk Announces April 30 Unveiling. Is it a Tesla Battery For Your Home?

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.

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.

We think the announcement will include a way to charge your Model S quickly at home.

We think the announcement will include a way to charge your Model S quickly at home.

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 think Tesla is about to offer something similar to Nissan's LEAF to Home system, but with a battery pack too.

We think Tesla is about to offer something similar to Nissan’s LEAF to Home system, but with a battery pack too.

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.


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  • Espen Hugaas Andersen

    April 30th isn’t in two days. 😉

    • vdiv

      That must be it then, Tesla Motors unveils a new calendar! 😉

  • Matt Beard

    Batteries have a nominal capacity, but they do tend to vary. I have wondered for a while if Tesla test the cells they buy in bulk and only put the best in the cars. They may well be putting lower capacity ones in 60kW versions. I wonder if they are left with ones that are within spec, but not ideal for car use. This would mean that they have perfectly good batteries that are not the best for energy density. A really good use for these would be something that doesn’t move, so does not need to be as weight-efficient.

  • just someone old

    Battery-system is too obvious, but the problem is, Is there enough batteryproduction to support the sales?n solarcity already sells Tesla homebatterys, so it can hardly be called a new product

  • Chris O

    I fail to see how a domestic battery pack would be presented as a new Tesla product line. Wouldn’t that be a SolarCity product line?nnAlso the Hawthorne Design Studio seems to be about cars, not domestic appliances.nnnSo maybe this is a truck related thing?

    • Joe

      Nah, it’s not a truck-related thing. Musk sent a follow up tweet today touting Solar City’s record one-day energy production and said “With all that solar power being generated, it almost feels like something is needed to complete the picture …” In Musk’s usual teaserspeak, that translates to “Come on, guys. Stop jumping to crazy conclusions and look at what’s in front of you.” So, in other words, yes, it’s an energy storage system or device for homes and/or businesses, as he alluded to a couple of months back.nnnAs for the Hawthorne Design Studio’s being about cars, yes, for now. At one time Apple was all about computers.

  • vdiv

    Electric yachts!

  • Joe

    This interests me because I’m considering buying solar panels for my house and it seems cool to use the actual electricity I generate during the day to power my car at night. I’m a little concerned that I’ll be consuming twice as many batteries, though. I’ll be dealing with battery degradation in the car as well as in the garage-mounted unit. It’s not so much range anxiety as battery replacement anxiety.

  • D. Harrower

    I’ll be a bit surprised if this turns out to be the stationary storage system Elon eluded to earlier. I wouldn’t have expected to see that until the GigaFactory is online and Tesla has a battery surplus.

  • Surya

    If it’s a UPS system, that might very well become my first Tesla!

  • just someone old

    I guess it will not be home battery system that they presentnthey sell it alreadynIn summer there is a new version commingnnnn

  • FVesel

    My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I seem to recall a year or so ago Tesla patenting a combination battery pack; half was the regular, and half was one of those fancy aluminum air batteries that take forever to charge and trickle out the power, but can hold oodles of electrons. I think the idea was that you’d drive on the regular battery but it would be constantly charging from the aluminum air, giving the car a range of over 600 miles. So that’s my pet theory of the announcement.nnnThe reason I don’t think it’s a home battery is because SpaceX just invested in SolarCity; so if Mr. Musk announced something that would encourage SolarCity stock to soar to the profit of his other companies, scads of lawyers would appear shrieking about insider trading. nnnBut just in case everyone else is right, perhaps I should find someone to lend me enough to purchase some SolarCity stock (I’m still kicking myself for not getting $18 Tesla stock because I’m broke and ignorant as to how you’d purchase such a thing). 🙂

  • Mark Benjamin David

    Considering Tesla’s close ties to Solar City, this would more likely have something to do with Solar.nnnI don’t see a battery pack unless it is used “reconditioned” battery packs. If this is it, it would be in conjunction with something solar, likely with Solar City. Lithium ion batteries may lose some capacity over time, but, while in so many years they may not get 70-80% capacity charges, this is still more than enough for storage for a home with solar or wind power, or emergency backup.nnnApple’s returned items, and, when apple has given a replacement item under warranty, will take those items and recondition them, new battery and such, and resell them with new warranty (all of their products are online only, except they give the reconditioned iPhones to carriers and they sell those online.)nnnSo, if Tesla has battery packs that have been returned or for whatever reason replaced under warranty, they could recondition these and resell them. Also, if they go forward with a new battery pack for the Roadster, this would totally make sense…I’m sure they won’t recycle them, but recondition them and resell them if they can, but, again, this would be better with solar panels.nnnI could be off, maybe it’s solar carports.nnnOr, …oh, gotta go