Somebody has to lay the track. Before real change can happen, someone, or many people, must do the dirty work. Take the side by side image of the British Underground as exhibit A. I wonder what the word on the street was regarding that original project?
Expensive proposition to build put a train underground, in major cities, I’m sure. A railroad across the country? That will be expensive! Solar panels? Expensive. Wind turbines? Expensive. Electric cars? Expensive. Battery backup for residential and commercial properties? Expensive.
Where was I? Oh yeah, last week, Tesla’s well publicized CEO, Elon Musk, announced the roll out of the Powerwall for residential use and the Powerpack for commercial applications. The Powerwall will be shipped first and has a bit more detail released. In fact, just enough detail for the pundits to weigh in.
As you would imagine, with such an announcement, there are people who rally to both sides of the issue, proclaiming glee, or doom, depending on where their allegiance lies.
Here are some specifics about the Powerwall product (http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall):
- Two initial models will hit the market. A 7 kwh and a 10Kwh Powerwall will begin shipping by mid-summer. The 7 kwh model will cost $3,000 and the 10 kwh will cost $3,500. There is a bit of confusion about total installed cost, as a converter, wiring, and professional installation are going to be needed.
- The 10 kwh Powerwall will provide 10 hours of energy for a normal household that burns 1,000 watts around the clock. The 7 kwh model can cycle daily and the 10 kwh Powerwall can cycle weekly.
- The models are warrantied for 10 years.
- The main applications for the Powerwall will be to provide backup power when the grid goes down, replace the grid during peak hours (morning/night), or replace the grid altogether. The second and third applications are meant to be coupled with solar energy.
From here, reporting gets a bit cloudy. After a review of the web, here is what can be found:
- According to a piece in Forbes by Christopher Helman (http://goo.gl/BF2F4Z), if a lithium ion battery can be estimated to cycle 5,000 times, the average cost per kwh for stored Powerwall energy will be 15 cents. If coupled with Tesla’s sister solar power company, Solar City, the combined cost of solar power and Powerwall energy approaches 30 cents per kwh. Depending on where you live in the United States, that cost could be as much as 3 times the normal electric rate. Exceptions are made for states like California and Hawaii.
- Two websites differed on their view of Tesla stock. Marketwatch states Jeffries touts an estimate of $350.00 (http://goo.gl/LRAJqb), while The Street lists the stock as a sell and lists factors like poor cash flow, low margins, and lackluster reception as reasons (http://goo.gl/9bEzcD).
- The same article in The Street, suggests competitors such as Samsung and Saft Group have similar products to offer.
So, there you have it. Elon Musk’s staged performance, powered entirely by batteries, was received with a big…question mark. Choose your side. Just, don’t bet against him.
As noted here before, vision and innovation is always met with those conditioned to throw wrenches. Eventually, when the product proves worthy and the kinks are worked out, they climb on board. Speaking of which, has anyone gotten their iWatch yet?
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