Tesla is going to be announcing a brand-new "not a car" product at its Hawthorne Design Studio on April 30, and now the Web is abuzz with speculation of what it could be. What does seem likely at this point, though, is that it could be an in-home battery that's backed by solar energy.
Major new Tesla product line -- not a car -- will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2015
As Benzinga reports, the amount of information Global Equities analyst Chip Chowdhry provides does lend a great deal of credibility to the in-home battery being Tesla's next big announcement. It's said that currently, about 230 homes in California and 100 in other places have this in-home battery installed; it measures about 3 feet by 2.5 feet, and has to be installed 1.5 feet above ground.
It's said that these installations were made over a year ago, so Musk's announcement might actually throw in a couple of surprises -- after all, things evolve. But at the time the installations went down, people had the option between a 10kWh and 15kWh battery, and it's speculated that the 10kWh version could cost about $13,000 after rebate. At this point, it's really hard to guess at how this could be sold. It could be sold outright, or purchased similarly to any other big purchase, where a downpayment will be required in addition to monthly payments.
Flickr: Kevin Dooley
Nonetheless, once the battery is installed, users will be able to interact with it via mobile app -- likely just to see its current capacity (something potentially important when the normal power grid experiences an outage and can't be used as a backup).
What's interesting is there are actually ways to use a battery like this to make money -- charge the battery during the night, and sell the excess power back to the grid during the day. Given the overall cost of the entire setup, "making money" off this is a bit of a stretch, but hey -- it's something.
If this really is what Tesla has up its sleeves for later this month, it could turn into something incredible.