Energy And Money: Elon Musk, Battery Salesman

by May 7, 2015
(Via user JD Lasica)

(Via user JD Lasica)

Would you buy a home battery from Tesla’s Elon Musk? Apparently, you would.

On Wednesday, Musk declared that demand for Tesla’s new Powerwall home batteries is “crazy, off the hook.” The company already has 38,000 orders for the batteries, which it announced last week, according to Time Magazine.

Even before the batteries officially go on sale, Musk is warning that Tesla won’t be able to keep up with demand.

As I wrote for Forbes last week, Tesla plans to initially produce its home batteries at its factory in Fremont, California, then switch production to its gigafactory near Reno, Nevada, when it opens in 2016.

“There’s like no way we could possibly satisfy demand this year,” Musk told analysts Wednesday during its first-quarter earnings call, Time reported. “We’re basically sold out through the middle of next year.”

The Powerwall batteries come in two home sizes: $3,000 for seven kilowatt hours, and $3,500 for 10 kWh. Customers will still have to purchase an inverter and have the batteries installed at additional cost.

Meanwhile, Musk’s presentation of the Powerwall batteries last week is being praised as one of the best TED-style talks ever.

If you missed his midnight news conference, you can see him explain Powerwall in this video.

For story ideas, find out if anyone in your community has ordered a Powerwall battery. Many Tesla customers enthusiastically post their purchases on social media, which should make them easy to spot.