Tesla Conference Call Reveals Flaws With Batteries

Tesla Conference Call Reveals Flaws With Batteries

Thanks to a couple of key pieces of information on last night’s Tesla earnings call there are fresh doubts about the company’s new battery products.

Bloomberg ran some calculations and now the world gets an idea of what the retail from-the-installer price of the battery might look like, as opposed to the wholesale numbers given out last week.

Tesla cousin company SolarCity, Bloomberg reports, will ship an installed 10 kWh Powerwall for $7,140 (outright purchase) or $5,000 plus a nine-year lease.

To match a 16 kW generator that sells for just US$3,699, would require around US$45,000 worth of Powerwalls on the lease deal.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance doesn’t see the Powerwall making a dent in European markets like Germany, where the economics of solar power are very well-understood. Its take is that “the economics of an average home with rooftop solar are not significantly enhanced by including the Tesla battery”.

The problems get worse for the larger battery, with SolarCity’s Jonathan Bass telling Bloomberg the 10 kWh unit is limited to around 50 charging cycles per year (500 over its lifetime).

That makes the 10 kWh version incompatible with off-grid applications, leaving the 7.5 kWh Powerwall as the only contender in that market.

Bloomberg also confirms previous findings of power output shortfalls in the Powerwall batteries: “The model puts out just 2 kilowatts of continuous power, which could be pretty much maxed out by a single vacuum cleaner, hair drier, microwave oven or a clothes iron.”

Apparently nobody has done the math however as more than 38,000 people have reserved batteries, which will likely be a huge disappointment.

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