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Tesla has already sold enough Powerwalls to push production back to mid-2016

By Shawn Knight · 29 replies
May 7, 2015
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  1. tesla powerwalls vehicle batteries electric vehicle model x model 3 automobile home battery powerwall tesla powerwall stationary power powerpack

    Elon Musk announced Tesla’s home and business battery systems less than a week ago. With pricing starting at $3,000 (which doesn’t include installation), many questioned whether or not the platform would be a success. Based on Musk’s comments during the company’s recent earnings call, it’s probably fair to say that Tesla is certainly on to something.

    Musk said that since its announcement, more than 38,000 customers have reserved a Powerwall system for their home. The company’s business solution, the Powerpack, has already seen 2,800 reservations.

    As the CEO noted, the response has been overwhelming and there is no way they’ll be able to satisfy demand this year. In less than a week, the company sold out through the middle of next year.

    With that kind of demand, one has to wonder if it’d be in Tesla’s best interest to shift its attention away from automobiles and towards stationary power. When asked this question, Musk said it just might and they’d have a better idea on the subject in a year.

    Looking ahead, Musk said his company ultimately expects most of their stationary storage sales will be at the utility or industrial scale. As for its automotive business, the entrepreneur said Tesla plans to launch its Model X SUV late in the third quarter. The company’s mainstream vehicle, the Model 3, will be shown in March 2016 with production starting in late 2017.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,984   +2,874

    Perhaps it would be in Tesla's best interests to concentrate on stationary power because once major motor manufacturers start releasing their electric vehicles to the consumer, Tesla is bound to be eaten alive. They have just too much clout and resources.
  3. Seraphim401

    Seraphim401 TS Booster Posts: 66   +20

    I just like the evolution of Tesla.
    Please don't **** it up.
    DaveBG likes this.
  4. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    How many of these reservations are existing Tesla car owners vs. new customers to Tesla?

    The Powerpack makes sense as a business solution because a backup generator for a business can range into the tens of thousands of dollars. If the Tesla alternative is cheaper and more efficient I would hope more businesses pick it up.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,522   +514

    As I have responded in the thread for the announcement of the product, using this as a giant battery backup for one's home needs to be thought out carefully as it is not a trivial matter; otherwise, any power outage might just drain an improperly sized system in a matter of a few hours. I would not be surprised if many of the 38,000 who have ordered this for their home are acting on impulse as opposed to educated consumers that truly understand their energy usage and how to properly size a battery backup for their home.

    I see the grid as mostly reliable; power outages are rarely longer than a few hours even with the sad state of the grid in the US. In situations where the duration of the power outage is below the threshold to drain the pack, I think those who have bought this for their home will be pleased. However, if the duration of the outage is long enough to drain the pack, I would not be surprised if people are not happy.

    I have to wonder whether Tesla will help homeowners to properly size the battery pack before they buy. In my opinion, they should even if that help is aimed only at reducing complaints because the pack was too small to last through the duration of a power outage.
    cmbjive likes this.
  6. avioza

    avioza TS Booster Posts: 102   +45

    If Tesla wants to maintain production of a single standardized module, perhaps some sort of linkage could be developed to mount multiple units together.
  7. Rorshirk

    Rorshirk TS Rookie

    And how many homes could you power on a single overnight quick charge? 100? 1000? Meanwhile, Hydrogen just shakes its head.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,837   +1,180

    They already do that, you can hook like 10 of them together.

    The batteries aren't that powerful, I think it could power an average home for around 3-4 hours. In the case of a power outage this would keep the fridge running and the furnace going... maybe for a few days, but you'd have to really shut down your use without a way to charge the batteries (like solar).

    I don't think they will, and here's why... People will not be buying Teslas because they're electric, they're going to buy them because they're great cars. GM/Nissan/Toyota/Honda will be trying their hardest to sell cars on the basis that they're electric. They'll design them to stick out so everyone knows they're electric. It will be the main selling point and anyone interested will have to deal with the tradeoffs, like low range, low power, weird interiors (ever seen the inside of a VOLT?) etc.
    But for Tesla, the car will stand alone. They'll be selling a great car and the fact that it's electric will be an afterthought. There's no need to mention it even because it's a Tesla. The Model S doesn't have that enviro-styling, and it's a pile of technology on the inside. Tech that can be updated anytime by Tesla over-the-air.
    How can Tesla possibly compete against the Big 3? Building a car is different today than it was in 1950. In 1950 if you wanted to build a car you had to design and build all the parts. Now, if you need seats, window motors, axles, or whatever, you can just get them from the same vendors who make them for everyone. Everything is outsourced and it's drastically lowered the barriers to entry for the industry. Throw in the govt's crAzY subsidies for green tech and Tesla is actually making money selling carbon emission credits (yes, for real) It all adds up to a serious auto contender.

    How will Tesla provide such a better car than the big rivals? Because they're years ahead of them and have their own battery (the most expensive part) plant. Imagine putting the Galaxy S6 next to an iPhone 3. That's what I think the Model 3 will look like next to the 2017 Chevy Bolt. We'll see of course, but I'd bet money on it.
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
    Skidmarksdeluxe and Seraphim401 like this.
  9. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,216   +398

    interesting point.

    I think these major manufactures have had the market to themselves for so long and the need for profit will hurt them. I don't see them pricing the cars low enough for it to make a huge difference to tesla, they are greedy have greedy shareholders and demand profit. Only time will tell if the economy of scales will keep the prices down in the long run. Initially though I see them trying to rape the market at the start.
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  10. risc32

    risc32 TS Addict Posts: 209   +96

    These last two comments seem to be written by people with either no understanding or rose colored glasses. So you think people buy Tesla cars because they are just damn fine autos? Really? I see no evidence that they are. In fact I see few of them on the road, but I've heard some stories already. The fact that they are electric is just a footnote? I think they damn well know they have a "special" electric car. I wouldn't even argue that point, they are even very easy on the eyes. The sales numbers for the home battery are good. What was it that pt Barnum used to say? Sure, you'll make money selling nonpeak power to the grid as peak power. What you're really doing is paying a percentage of your future electric bills up front with the dream of breaking even,and the hope it'll save your butt in a black out. But if that black out is more than a few hrs, you're going to realize why batteries aren't used by mission critical places, or anyone with more sense than 3k, for real back up power. There are way more fools out there with 3k than whatever they are charging for those pretty cars. 3k? Wait that's not right. The fine print said that this has to be done by an electrician and that it doesn't come with the required power inverter. So, I'd take a WAG at an additional 1k to get it up and running. I should start a bidness like this, how about people pay me 4k up front, then I'll pay perhaps 5% of your electric bill for 10yrs("warranty"). You won't even have to take a day off work to install my system, and there will be zero chance my "system" will either blow up or burn down your house. Do you know how much energy is in that Tesla battery? Not enough to really ham it up when the grid goes down but way more than is needed to suck the paint off your house and give your family members a permanent orange afro.
    . that said it looks like something out of stark industries and I'd totally take one of those cars, but I like danger.
  11. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,216   +398

    Would be nice if you were to quote the actual post you are referring to in your post.
  12. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Tesla literally could give away money on the street and someone will come on these comments and just tear them a new one for it.
    Most of the comments here did not even look at the video or anything saying things like "would be nice if you can hook them together" or "well this wont power your house properly" and bla bla.

    Look you darn fools, this isn't to power you whole house all the time yet its to reduce the overall power grid requirements! It's to reduce co2 emissions gradually! If everyone eventually does have like 10 of these things in their home then we would need WAY less power generated and they could literally turn off the power grid all day long and just produce minimal power at night to be safe.

    Long term its totally possible to transition the entire grid to solar + battery with possibly just mothballing power plants for emergencies. Meaning no reliance on coal or oil to run the entire country and much much less CO2 emissions.

    Hydrogen cells suck! It takes LOTS more power to reverse the process(charge) than it produces and it takes ages to reverse. Also when it goes sideways your house gets flattened and you DIE!
  13. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Addict Posts: 270   +85

    This is great news.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    Oh how adorable, you came charging in with the name calling in the very first sentence. Class act, you!(y)

    The rest of your post is absurd to the point of lunacy. It would appear you think these batteries get charged up by spell or incantation. Wrongo! They get charged by the power grid, just like your stinking "smart phone"

    And we can take that on your authority, because of your qualifications, which are.....?

    They say the same thing about methanol!

    How is that any different from natural gas?
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    Well, IIRC, "lacks styling", hasn't, at least up until now, been a positive sales incentive.

    Right! The internet will completely circumvent recalls. Because, as we all know, you can replace a defective airbag over the phone.
    GM was a conglomerate, "Fisher Body", "Saginaw steering pumps, et al. Has that changed?

    BTW, federal tax credits are a large part of the reason Tesla has survived thus far.

    I'm sure Musk will gladly pimp off his battery tech, if there's money involved.
  16. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    2nd paragraph, doesn't take away from the facts that every elon musk/tesla article on TS gets a crazy amount of hate.

    No they get charged by solar & the grid running at reduced capacity, like I said.
    My smartphone doesn't stink.

    Maybe try actually watching the video linked in the post.

    Natural gas is multiple times less dangerous than hydrogen, natural gas is easy to detect and most houses already have detectors.
    Natural gas can easily be laced with a stinky additive, not so sure that would work well in fuel cells.
    Still doesn't help with the fact the fuel cells are very slow and expensive to "charge" and batteries are better for now. We need a fix NOW not in 5 or 10 years - once again look at the stinkin video for the facts.
  17. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    The patents schematics and EVERYTHING to do with the batteries and manufacturing plants is open source free of charge to be used by anyone with no royalties AT ALL.
    Did you actually watch the video?
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    Not a crazy amount, an appropriate amount.
    Well OK, so you're saying we need solar tech to charge the batteries, right?

    Well then, Musk should be huckstering this crap as a package.

    Here's why, charging a battery always requires more current than the battery's capacity. However small that differential might, it doesn't fall to the benefit of the consumer. Here's the Wiki page on that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

    Batteries also self discharge, which further wastes electricity.

    That means your little scheme, to go to battery power during peak hours, can't possibly save money, unless the power companies drop the rates on off peak hours.

    Then too, you can't use DC current directly. Which is why we have "inverters", to power our AC devices from DC batteries. Oh. wait a minute, inverter circuits aren't 100% efficient either.

    Oh, and BTW, you can't transmit DC power across power lines for any great distance. Nikolai Tesla found that out himself the hard way, about a hundred years ago.

    Then there's the Musk BS factor.. Every time Musk announces one of his big "innovations", all of a sudden there is such a big influx of orders, Tesla can't possibly fill them until "xxxx" date in the future..

    So, in order to fulfill your grandiose dreams, in your happy little fantasy world of the future, your going to need a big backyard, with a windmill, and a big house, with a big roof covered with solar collectors, before you can hang up the, "no trespassing" sign, and start thumbing your nose at the electric companies.

    What percentage of the population will be able to afford one of those, let alone get a mortgage for it?

    If I do any video watching today, it won't be a Musk propaganda film.

    I'm thinking more along the lines of Nazi propaganda films, leading up to, and through, the Second World War. Those should be entertaining, and wildly so.

    Elon Musk's big idea "blockbusters", sound like "box office bombs" to me.

    When he's not out begging for money from private investors, he's pandering to the government.for energy saving tax credits..

    And of course, (I believe last year, or maybe the year before), Tesla once again failed to turn a profit. Musk justified this by claiming, "the company had capital expenditures for equipment, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    And of course, the big car companies are still picking on poor, little, Elon
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  19. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Blind hate without facts, misrepresenting what I said, comparing someone thats actually trying to do something about the current environmental crisis to be so irrelevant that its on par with nazi propaganda?

    Sir you are a hater and a fool.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    No sir, I gave you an abundance of plain facts, which you've chosen to ignore.

    Which do you think is more dangerous, cynicism, or blind trust? Going back to my "Nazi propaganda film" analog, I expect, that many of the people thought they were actually getting a shower.:oops:

    Additionally, I haven't resorted to ad hominem attacks on you. So, here I am, seemingly back in 6th grade.
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,168   +3,261

    He is not blind. Cranky is simply suggesting that if you are not willing or capable of going all the way, stopping half way (much less even shorter distance) will get you nowhere. And that is what this power wall is, a stop gap that gets you nowhere in the grand scheme of things.
    captaincranky likes this.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    Thanks for the backup Cliff...(y)
  23. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Oh? like going on about DC transmission? where the hell does that even come from?
    Or comparing what I said about hydrogen fuel cells taking a enormous amount of power and time to reverse vs a battery that only takes a slight bit more and much less time by comparison?
    Or how inverters are so poor even though they are REALLY efficient and not expensive at all.
    Or saying that Tesla should provide the solar panels also as if other companies don't do that already? Should Tesla come flick the light switch for you when you come home also because by golly its just way half measured to only provide you with the part that the specialize in!

    But hey lets not work on facts here lets just respond with something completely irrelevant that has nothing to do with the topic or with what I said in the first place.

    If either of you watched the video you would know that the plans would be to have massive solar farms around to charge these things and reduce the need for fossil fuel generators.

    Slamming tesla with labels like "BS factor" wtf is that about? Does Tesla cars not work? Did they not provide free to use charge stations all over the place? Is the royalty free open and free for use patents the mark of a shady scam?
    Measuring the success of Tesla as a whole with comments like "well the company isnt making a profit so the cars must suck and the idea is bad" Is just so absurd its not even possible to respond with an argument since there is none.

    Not once did he respond with an actual counter argument to anything I said but instead started a fresh new off topic irrelevant rant, that kid of behavior is something I saw in school, try acting like adults.
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,168   +3,261

    Sometimes even enemies have to stick together when on common ground. :D

    I'm not apposed to the Powerwall. I simply see it as a glorified UPS, while still using the grid for charging. Simply put the Powerwall is first base, with home stretch far if not completely out of reach.
    First off, I did watch the video. And no where in the video did the explanation surface about how the home user would benefit from these farms. The home user would need a farm of their own to get off the grid. As long as the home user is still on the grid, they have a service fee. This service fee alone negates the savings of having a power wall.

    Sure I will acknowledge the benefit of collecting solar. But not if it cost more in the long run for the home user to implement. All because of some greedy bastard keeping prices higher than that of our electric bill. They have us on the grid and they want to keep us on the grid. This Powerwall only serve to help them, not the home user.
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,507   +2,299

    Well here we differ, perhaps only slightly.

    If the "Power Wall" IS (?) 1st base, then Musk has been awarded it as a, "base on balls".

    As you know, a "UPS" doesn't operate at 100% efficiency. It costs you money to charge and maintain its "security".

    Accordingly, without electricity generating devices in the home, that's all it is, a UPS. Or, what I'm going to start calling it, "a hot shot pack for your home".

    A UPS which has the debilitating drawback of needing to be charged, by the very electric company, whose power just failed, and the reason you're using it in the first.

    Gasoline powered generators, aren't efficient, stink like hell, and can kill you if you keep in the house with you. With that said, and with all their faults, they're a far better solution to the only problem Musk's "Power Wall" can presently hope to solve, a power failure in the grid.

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