What can't Elon Musk do? He's already the head of a successful electric car manufacturer and a space exploration company. Now, the serial inventor and entrepreneur wants to change the way we power our homes and businesses with the new Tesla Powerwall, a battery that could make us all less dependent on the energy grid.
The Power Wall could be a huge break through in how we use electricity from our local utility companies. Power Wall is like a battery pack that stores extra energy when you are not using it for times when you need more power. It could be used to store solar or wind energy to make it easier for homes and businesses to run on renewable power sources even when the sun is not out or the wind is not blowing. Or, it could also store up electricity from the grid that you could use during a power outage or to avoid peak pricing from your local utility.
"Our goal is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy," Musk told a press conference at the Tesla Design Center on Thursday night. "It sounds crazy, but we want to change the entire energy infrastructure of the world to zero carbon."
The 10 kilowatt per hour Powerwall is based on the battery from the Tesla Model S electric car. Consumers can place up to nine Powerwalls in a home.
Tesla will manufacture Powerwalls at its new Gigfactory in Nevada. The batteries should be available to the public in three or four months and will cost about $3,500 each. That price could fluctuate, though, because the batteries can be customized to work with anything from home to industrial uses.
Tesla has partnered with installation companies around the country like Treehouse, Solar Edge and Green Mountain Power. The Powerwall will also be available in Germany.
In addition to allowing energy storage for homes and businesses, the Powerwall could also bring power to remote communities in the future.
"It provides security, freedom and peace of mind," Musk said — adding that "all we need" is to roll out 2 billion Powerwalls to meet the energy needs of the entire world, and that the poorest communities with no power lines will benefit the most.
That's a lot of Powerwalls. But, if Elon Musk has taught us anything in recent years, it's that you shouldn't bet against him.