by ANDRE RAYGOZA
The CEO of the car maker Tesla Motors hopes to park hundreds of millions of large solar panel-connected batteries in homes and businesses so the world can disconnect from power plants and he can profit. On Thursday night before an adoring crowd and a party like atmosphere, Musk unveiled how he intends to do it.
Musk took the stage at Tesla’s design studio near Los Angeles International Airport, an audience of drinking toting enthusiasts cheering him on, in a scene fit for an audience dreamer renowned for pursuing far out projects. Colonizing Mars is one of Musk’s goals at Space X, a rocket maker that he also runs. Now he is sitting out on another ambitious mission. Musk said to reporters,
“Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy.”
Although Tesla will make the battery called “Powerwall” it will be sold by a variety of other companies. The list of partners includes SolarCity, a solar installer founded by Musk’s cousin, Lyndon and Peter Rive. Musk is SolarCity’s chairman and largest shareholder. As with Tesla’s electric cars, which starts around $70,000, the battery might also be too expensive for most consumers. The system will carry a suggested price of $3,000 to $3,500 depending on the desired capacity. Installation will be extra. That could discourage widespread adoption, especially for a product that may only have a limited use.
Musk is so encouraged by the initial demand that he believes Tesla and other future entrants in the market will be able to sell 2 billion battery packs around the world, roughly the same number of vehicles already on the roads. Although that may sound like a “super crazy” goal, Musk insisted it “is within the power of humanity to do”.