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Tesla Is Making a Battery to Power Your Home

Feb. 13, 2015
Personal Finance
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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the electric-car company is preparing to move inside, making a battery that would power your home.

“We have design done, and it should start going into production in about six months or so,” Musk said Thursday during the company’s earnings call.

It will be a lithium-ion battery similar to the ones that power Tesla cars, and consumers could use them to create and store power.

Musk didn’t give many details on the plan. A Tesla spokeswoman said the company is not sharing any additional information about the battery systems “in the next couple of months.”

But it would make sense for the battery to be some sort of partnership between Tesla and one of Musk’s other ventures, SolarCity. Musk is chairman of the board for the solar-energy company and its largest shareholder.

SolarCity already offers power-storage systems that can be used during outages, but not a battery designed to be used as a home’s full-time primary power source.

“A home energy storage system may help you save more money by drawing power from your battery instead of from the grid during higher rates peak hours,” reads the Web page for the system. “You can then recharge your battery during lower rate, off-peak hours.”

Already, some owners of electric cars like Teslas or the Nissan Leaf are using the batteries from their cars as backup home generators in emergencies.

A stronger battery pack from Tesla would presumably be designed to let users go “off the grid” entirely, particularly if paired with solar panels.

Last year, Musk discussed the possibility that a home battery pack may be in the company’s future.

“We are trying to figure out what would be a cool stationary [battery] pack,” Musk said. “Some will be like the Model S pack: something flat, 5 inches off the wall, wall mounted, with a beautiful cover, an integrated bi-directional inverter, and plug and play.”