Elon Musk Announces Major New Product Line Launch April 30th For Tesla

MAR 30 2015 BY JAY COLE 76

New Major Non-Car Product To Debut In April From Tesla

New Major Non-Car Product To Debut In April From Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to his favorite source to disseminate breaking news (Twitter of course) on Monday to announce a “major new Tesla product line” will be debuting on April 30th at 8pm PT from the company’s Hawthorne, California Design Studio.

Mr. Musk stressed that it was “not a car” in the tweet.

No other hints were dropped at what this new product line could be by the CEO, but we are still free to speculate.

The most obvious choice would be standalone battery packs/”home energy storage” packages  that are designed to independently power your home (or office) if need be.

Tesla/Solar City Energy Storage Solution System Is In The "Pilot Program" Stage Today

Tesla/Solar City Energy Storage Solution System Is In The “Pilot Program” Stage Today

Of interest, Solar City (sister company to Tesla) already has a pilot “home energy storage solution” project running in conjunction with Tesla batteries and their own solar technology to over 300 clients today, and has promised to have that project be available to the masses by “late summer” with an announcement coming “mid-2015” with all the finer details.

We think it is a good bet that Elon Musk’s announcement of an announcement in April will be related to this project.

In theory, this system could also allow for much higher speed residential/charging to the Model S (or future Model 3) with the aid of an external/auxiliary battery.

Then again, maybe it is just a line of Tesla-themed leisure wear, or personal use,  James Bond inspired electric submarines.

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76 Comments on "Elon Musk Announces Major New Product Line Launch April 30th For Tesla"

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They already have some of the battery storage stuff hooked up at Hawthorne, so launching it there makes sense.

Agree, and I think it’s the first part of a larger Tesla ecosystem…

This first new product is an in-house battery storage system.

The battery storage system will provide power for a later second new product … an in-home “super-charger”.

The battery storage system will also provide emergency-back up power for your entire home.

The battery system will also store energy generated from Solar City roof panels.

And all of the above … when combined … will effectively expand the capacity of the grid by expanding and distributing production/storage of electrical energy. In the process, this will neuter two common complaints about electric cars: 1) The grid can’t handle the extra load. 2) The electricity for EVs comes from coal.

Absolutely right. With an in-home battery, minor supercharging is easy. It would cost too much, for a 60 or 85 KWH battery, way too big for most homes. About 25 KWH is the right starter size, 1 day usage for most homes. This could give a Tesla 50 miles of quick range in just a 7 minute coffee break.

And this “EcoSytem” will be in place, by the time Model 三 is ready.

No other EV maker at that time, will have this level of infrastructure integration and off grid support. And no one else, will have their own SuperCharger Network for driving across the country, for “free”.

The limited production Bolt can suck it. I’m betting on Model 三.

No need for SC at home. 95% of the time a car is parked slow charging is good for battery life.
I slow charge my S every night.
But I would love to store the energy from my PVs and use that for free and 100% renewable.

I agree and hope it is battery packs as I want to start building offgrid solar, wind, generator plug and play systems for homes, businesses and EV motorcycle cars.
All needed is low cost battery packs to make these happen.
Since Musk seems to have built up a huge battery stockpile it needs to go someplace and likely why it was built up.
So the interesting point is what price/kwhr will they be.
That will show just how much, fast Musk wants it to spread.
It cost musk about $150-$175/kwhr to make , assemble the packs untouched by human hands so if he sells under $250/kwhr he can still make a good profit and spread fast.
If over $300/kwhr it’ll be hard to be competitive in most home/business power markets against present tech.

I think most of their superchargers have some storage to help deal with demand charges.

According to a June 2014 article, Tesla “installed an energy storage unit at its Tejon Ranch Supercharger station off I-5 in Southern California.”

But I rather suspect such storage units are, and will continue to be, as rare as Supercharger stations with solar canopies… and that amounts to only a handful. Installing solar canopies and battery storage units at Supercharger stations won’t help Tesla sell more cars, so there’s no economic incentive for Tesla to build out such infrastructure. Elon Musk likes to give lip service to making the Supercharger network solar powered, but there has been almost no follow-through.

My guess is it will be the same with installing energy storage capacity.

Tesla has a very high incentive to install storage units at superchargers: Monthly demand charges from the utility.

They vary by utility, but if it was $10/kW, then a single instance per month of two cars charging simultaneously would rack up demand charges of ~$30,000/yr.

One of Tesla’s 400kWh storage units could pay itself off in 5 years. Many businesses have similarly peaky loads, and they will be the main target for the first storage systems. Home storage will be a small market by comparison, at least initially.

Demand surcharges for industrial power certainly are something to consider, altho your characterization of $10/kWh seems to be rather out of the ballpark. If it really was anywhere near that high, I think we would already have seen a large movement in manufacturing to install banks of batteries for time-shifting power demands.

Do Tesla’s Superchargers really draw sufficient current to trigger the industrial surcharge for demand? I dunno. If they do, then one wonders why Tesla hasn’t installed more battery packs for “peak shaving” of power demands? Of course we could speculate why that might be (cost? limited battery supply?), but that would be piling speculation on top of guesses, so rather pointless.

$10/kw/month demand charge is pretty common and on the low side in some CA utilities. Here in Redding, CA, Redding Electric Utility charges large commercial services energy charge of 8 cents/kW-hr and a monthly demand charge of $29/kW. PG&E’s common A-10 commercial demand charge is $16/kW in the summer and $8 in the winter, with energy charge of 16 cents/kw-hr in the summer and 12 cents/kw-hr in the winter.

PV panels and battery’s are the future for sure. Prices will continue dropping and ROI will be shorter.
No tail pipes in the future.

Agree

Supercharging from a home or SC station site with solar needs at least 2x’s the battery capacity for long life
Not going to happen.
After about 20kwhrs/day producing power when needed is a better, lower cost idea.
Like solar that happens when power is needed most so just lower rates of offpeak need to be stored.
Or just run a high eff generator possibly supplying heat too to xharge the batteries instead of having over 1 days worth.
Batteries are great but only store electricity, you still have to make it so many times just making it for use is better, lower cost.
Batteries need to be used as a buffer, not as an energy source.
And there is a sweet spot of enough batteries and too much. Lowest cost is in getting this balance right.

Well, we knew the home energy storage battery pack was coming, so that does seem to be a good guess. If it’s not that, then I can’t imagine what “major new Tesla product line” that’s not a car there could be, in 2015.

Where does Tesla stand as a power-train supplier? I know they did some work, including the Rav4 EV. Any possibility that they could formalize a drive-train product? I do think it’s most likely stationary energy storage, though.

Another thought – and I know this is just me dreaming – would be some sort of charging infrastructure station in support of EVs beyond their own. I would be floored if they moved into that space in 2015. Maybe in 2020 when multiple other 200-mile BEVs are available. But wouldn’t that be something?

I thought Tesla was production constrained due to a lack of battery cells. How could Tesla divert battery cell from cars to home storage, especially with the Model X due to be released soon?

Could be that they are unveiling the product but it might not be offered until a later date like when the gigafactory is up and running.

This should clear things up:

“Should mention that the battery cells used for this are 200 Wh/kg vs 250 for Model S. No short term supply constraint.”

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/408708548009291776

That comment is over a year old.

I bet this battery comes out in the fall, along side Model X. I have a feeling the Panasonic has a new cell improvement and the capacity to deliver tons more of them. This would be the first real battery Gen upgrade for Tesla since Roadster to Model S.

I was responding to this comment:

“How could Tesla divert battery cell from cars to home storage, especially with the Model X due to be released soon?”

And one possible explanation is still to use different/cheaper cells than are used in vehicles. Weight is much less of an issue for a stationary box than for a vehicle.

I wonder if the the battery production process has a high scrap rate? could be that 10% of the batteries don’t have the performance required for use in a car but would be great for home storage? It’s a pretty long shot as batteries are probably quite reproducible to manufacture and Tesla’s battery pack appears to be designed with quite a lot of redundancy in mind. It wouldn’t be the first time a high value added industry has spawned a smaller lower profit margin industry based on its scrap.

btw – love the idea of home DC supercharger. Even at 50 kW would be pretty cool especially if it could be linked to a solar system.

True – Like how Intel did with the Celeron Processor essentially being scrapped Pentium processors with parts not working. Or how the Core Solo was basically a Core Due with only one working core.

Lack of batteries was only an episode from last year.
It is another assembly line that is missing. Tesla prepared one for Model X, and it doubled their capacity.
Remember that they have only one plant to make cars, and GM for example, have 99!
It is very expensive to set up an assembly line with all the robots. Near a billion I guess, so “little” Tesla must bring more money to the barn before expanding again their production capacity.

Why would each Tesla assembly line be dedicated to making only one model of vehicle? If it’s true, then that’s an antiquated design for an automotive assembly line. Tesla could learn something from Toyota’s production engineering. Under Toyota’s new production system, Toyota’s new assembly lines can make more than 8 different models on the same assembly line at the same time. Not only does this flexible system allow Toyota to significantly reduce production costs, but also allows Toyota to reduce the CapEx for new plants by 40%.

I have much more confidence in the imaginative engineering skills of Elon Must than in your “expertise” about the value of what is antiquated and what is 100% dedicated.
Tesla is at his beginning. Ask Toyota how much assembly lines they had back in 1938 !?!

BTW I noticed as many here that every single comment you spit about Tesla is sh!t

LuStuccc,

If I want to hear any sh!t from you, I’ll squeeze your head! 😀

As I told you the last time you accused me of being a Telsa hater:
“FYI, I love Tesla. It’s rabid Tesla fanboys and Saint Elon worshipers that I hate. They turn people off to Tesla and damage Tesla’s brand by their incessant and unjustified attacks on anyone who dares to even mildly criticize Tesla. . . .”

Please read the rest of the above comment in the link below. It even include examples of me showering Tesla with praise!
http://insideevs.com/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-tweets-battery-swap-tesla-stock-price-model-s-range-more/#comment-654587

FWIW I hope that Telsa’s major new product is an Elon Musk Shrine Kit, complete with alter, candles, a few locks of Elon’s hair, and hundreds of pics of Elon to paste on the walls of your shrine. You can set it up in your bedroom! 😀

Part of the upgrade of Tesla’s Fremont assembly plant last year was to enable the production line(s) to assemble the Model X as well as the S. As I understand it, the slow-moving parts of the production line have been twinned for increased throughput, so in some places there are now two lines, and a single line in other places.

But the battery pack assembly is a separate production process. Currently it’s being done on the upper floor of the Fremont plant, but that production will be moved to the Gigafactory sometime in the fairly near future.

1) Very few people are going to buy this.

2) I think this is more to show that they have other avenues of selling battery cells other than just their cars such that people don’t freak out over the gigafactory risk.

“1) Very few people are going to buy this.”
For now… like any new trend, at first they are only a few and the cost is high, but I believe that coupled with solar panels or a micro windmill, battery storage will be more convenient, cheap and clean. this obvious generation/storage way will eventually replace the grid for the vast majority as sure as cell phones are replacing line phones or planes replaced boats for long travels.

What is the value proposition? I have a solar PV system . . . why would I want a battery? Net-metering is much better than a battery.

Perhaps the reason to have these batteries is just in case utilities are successful in killing off net-metering?

electric-car-insider.com

(Cheap) Batteries make sense when you have to pay $0.50 per kWh on peak, and you can “buy” power off peak for $0.03 – $0.16.

So there is a ready market at a certain price point. Consumer gets other benefits like (almost) never seeing a power outage, and cleaner power (electronics live longer).

Tesla wins when they can sell 2x the number of batteries they would otherwise and push prices below $100 kWh.

Don’t forget that you have to factor in inverter losses twice, converting AC to DC and then back to AC. I think Tesla’s inverter is around 90% efficient.

electric-car-insider.com

Here’s an even simpler way to think about it. Would you pay $2,000 for an appliance that could earn you $3.40 per day for the next 8 years?

Would you buy a $2,000 appliance if it was required to get your solar installation permitted? (not far from the case in Hawaii).

Even if the $2k was doubled it would still be a good investment. Would probably be a reasonable investment even if it was $6k.

Solar City was charging ~ $1,500 down and $15/mo for the pilot program if memory serves.

Net meetering will soon be a thing of the past.
That kind of extreme subsidy is only seen when there are small amounts in a new and maturing technology.

So once net metering is gone everywhere or like it is today that it doesn’t exist in most places there will be a need and a want.

Net metering is a dying seed, that can’t be sustained to full fruition of the solar market. Solar wholesale PPA’s are available for 5-6 cents/kwh. Why should utilities buy for more than this, from you? This is the growing argument.

Where Tesla can surprise with this announcement, is pricing. Perhaps a 200wh/kg system can come in at $200kwh, where I believe many in the utility sector are modeling closer to $350/kwh. The jewel is the DIY’r fetching a Leaf battery with their truck. I think there is a business waiting to come in under Tesla, and re-purpose batteries just like this.

I think this is a product for the long haul.

With net-metering, and PG&E’s EV-A rate – I’m selling my surplus solar electricity for $.40/kw-hour, spending $.10/kw-hour for off-peak power. It costs me $.11/kw-hour to produce… so, effectively, I’m pay $.0275/kw-hour to charge my car. An extra investment in a batter would put me back up at $.11/kw-hour.

But that won’t – that can’t – last forever. When solar power reaches a certain percentage of the grid, this logic will not work, and net-metering will go away. In the big picture – that’s a good thing – that means we’re using more renewables – and this will be utterly justified (if this really is the item they’re going to release).

But in the short term – as long as the power company has excess power to sell middle of the night – it’s greener to use net-metering.

Tesla hasn’t been battery constrained for a long time.

As far as I know, the only time any Tesla rep said “We are no longer constrained by battery supply” was shortly before the Fremont assembly plant was upgraded to increase production by 25%. Why would you think that Tesla is -not- once again production constrained by battery supply, following that upgrade?

Tesla is spending ~$3.5 billion of its own money to build a battery Gigafactory, and not merely (or even primarily) to reduce the per-kWh cost of batteries. The most important purpose of the Gigafactory is to ensure they’ll have a supply of batteries adequate for their near-term needs. But even with that, Tesla is already looking ahead to when it will need to build a second Gigafactory.

Bring on the home power battery packs.

Mark H. is ready to write a check 🙂

Tie it into an existing project and get 30% fed credit + 35% NC credit, it could be a good year to buy a battery brought to you by the letter “T”.

There is a 99% chance that this is home energy storage.

I hadn’t previously thought about the fact that it might enable faster Model S charing. That would be very interesting.

Tesla recently removed the dual-charger option. A home energy storage solution would allow them to do DC charging, just like the SuperChargers. Imagine a battery storage solution that slowly fills itself during off-peak or direct for a PV install. Then discharges at 50+ kW from your garage or a small retail location. No need for a high voltage grid connection or hitting demand charges.

Pricing and battery sizes will be the real question.

That would be a big splash for both home charging and destination chargers.

You can still order a new Tesla with a dual-charger, but they changed it from an option to an accessory. Look for it on the Tesla accessories page. option. They changed it from a $1,500 factory installed option to a $2,000 service center installed accessory. That’s a $500 price increase if ordered when purchasing a new Tesla, but is a $1,600 price decrease when installing it afterwards, compared to the $3,600 old price.

Good to know

I find it difficult to believe that a battery-based home DC charger wouldn’t hit the 5-digit range.

Another bauble for the ultra-wealthy, I suppose.

This doesn’t appear to be a home DC charger. It appears to be a giant UPS for your home.

I am thinking battery storage or Tesla branded condoms with bio-derived lube – packet reads – “Tesla, Lets screw the oil industry together”.

Not likely, but would be cool if it was a Tesla motorcycle 🙂

Also not likely, a Telsa bus for those of us who commute on public transit. I’d much rather ride in a Tesla bus with US-made battery pack, than a BYD bus with a Chinese-made battery pack. But I’d settle for a Proterra bus

What a wonderful dream…

If they’d do for motorcycles what we hope the 3 will do for cars…

Ah well, I can dream.

> higher speed residential/charging to the Model S…

Solution looking for a problem is not Tesla’s style.

When you have 265 mile range, there simply isn’t a use case for fast charging at home. How often do you really burn through 265 miles *in town* before you desperately need to sleep?

Maybe for commercial applications but at this point, the Tesla Taxi market is vanishingly small.

Sex toys. And not just sex toys, but sex toys with truly mind warping battery life.

I like the way you’re thinking…

More Dreaming: Maybe a CHAdeMO Adapter for Supercharger Access by LEAF iMiEV & Soul EV?
Definitely fit’s the ‘New Product Line’ part, and maybe Even the ‘Major’ part – as it takes away all the complaining by said vehicle owners that Tesla has a Standard that is restricted to their own owners and none other – and – beats OEM’s to the ‘Shared Access’ of the Supercharger idea!

Very likely a home energy storage pack. I doubt it will do much for charging though, competitor (and SolarCity) packs seems to be in the 5-10 kWh range.

We are witnessing the beginning of the end of fossil fuels for light vehicles.

Clothing line…

The clothing will be made from eco-friendly fabrics. It will have no pockets, and a very limited color palette. You will have to order on April 30 to have any chance of wearing the Fall Collection.

And it will be awesome.

It could be some sort of “Home battery” but I somehow think it is something else.

The “Home Battery” does make sense since there is no “all in one package” for this purpose. Everything is either DIY or a bunch of technologies put together by a company. There is clearly a need for it.

Somehow, I think it might be something else…

Tesla drones?

Not a car… a truck? I know it’s a long shot, and the home energy storage device is a much better bet, but he has said before that he wants to develop a truck. They are now testing towing on the Model X prototypes, so it might not be a reach. And then there’s how coy it would be to say “not a car” when referring to a truck. That would be right down his alley.

Here’s to hope. 🙂

I like the truck idea… even before the Model III… but that would freak out too many folks.

Agree that it is the battery… love the speculation about home SuperChargers… even if they were only 20kW to 25kWh it would be faster than the AC most are running and still get it done in 4.25 hours for an 85 and 3 for a 60… buffer away those demand charges.

Tesla V2G?

Neat.

I’ve been using “JERRY CANS” for my gas car, how about a “JERRY PACK” for all those other EVs that lack sufficient range. At 4 kg per kWh a 7.5 kWh JERRY PACK weighs 30 kg or 66 lbs. Now that’d be a Tesla style range extender!

How about that robot “snake” charger? So you will never have to plug in yourself. Elon has been talking about that. You will get home, get out and the car will automatically drive into your garage and starts charging.

Finally someone speaks my mind!

I guess that if it’s home storage, that could result in me buying my first Tesla product!

The home battery system is already available from SolarCity in California so I’m not sure what all the hoopla is about.

Plus, home battery systems for off-grid systems are nothing new. Trojan Battery has been making lead batteries for solar battery back up systems since the 70s. If you subscribe to Home Power Magazine, there are dozens of articles about it.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. He’s just marketing it differently and using lithium instead of lead.

We asked about the battery back up system when SolarCity installed our system 3 years ago. They told us Tesla was working on something and it wasn’t available yet.

So it’s no big revelation.

chrisg1972 said:

“The home battery system is already available from SolarCity in California so I’m not sure what all the hoopla is about.”

Hmmm, from SolarCity’s website, they’ve only given/sold beta test units to selected customers. If Tesla is going to be offering home energy storage packages to anybody, and if they are gonna undercut current prices significantly, that’s news indeed.

But this will be just an announcement of a product to be available at a future time… that “future time” being whenever the Gigafactory is capable of making more batteries than Tesla can use in its cars.

I’m surprised nobody has suggested a Tesla wireless charging system.

That is not needed

Since Elon solved range anxiety with software, I’m thinking maybe Tesla video games.

The Snake carger……..

Elon Musk . Has A Masterful Way Of getting people’s attention ! What A Guy! He’s Got Brains To Burn & that is an Understatement! I Hope It’s A New Battery Or a “Newer Improved EEE Motor/Powertrain” That He is Hinting At….Now, That! Would worth Waiting For…

Residential storage sounds about right, but I was hoping it’d be something more bold like making a move in the fledgling all-electric aircraft market :).