Tesla is launching a home battery today: here’s what to expect

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Tesla is holding a special event later today at its California design studio – and it won’t be launching a new electric car.

Instead, Elon Musk is expected to unveil a brand new type of Tesla product, one that draws on the company’s expertise and may spark something of a minor revolution in how we power our homes. Yep, it’s a battery. A big old battery.

In actual fact, there may be two batteries announced: one designed for the home and a larger model designed for businesses.

Tesla’s car batteries are incredible things, enabling its electric cars to travel hundreds of miles at high speeds before requiring a (very quick) recharge. That stellar power management capability will be built into the home batteries, giving them exceptional efficiency.

YOUR OWN HOME POWER STATION

The idea isn’t to take your home “off the grid” so much as to provide a superb backup home power source that would make blackouts and power cuts a thing of the past, as well as save you huge amounts of money. There are periods where you could switch your home’s power supply to the Tesla battery – or rather, have it done automatically for you by Tesla’s software and that’ll drop your power bill.

You’ll also be able to rig the battery to a solar array, allowing it to store energy collected during the day and use it at night. So there’s even more money to be saved – and environmental brownie points to be won – there. In fact, Tesla already produces home batteries for US solar energy startup SolarCity.

Like solar panels, the battery could represent a hefty investment: in Tesla’s cars, such as the pricey Model S, the battery is reportedly the single most expensive component. But it’ll almost certainly be worth getting. It is, after all, a high-efficiency, environmentally friendly power source.

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