6 Things to Know About Elon Musk's Big Announcement Tonight
Elon Musk is quite the diva when it comes to glitzy reveals. The billionaire’s Tesla design studio isn’t in Hollywood (it’s 15 miles south of it, actually), but he sure throws launch parties like it is. Last year the wannabe-Martian rolled out the red carpet for an over-the-top unveiling of the mysterious “D.” Tonight he’s back in the spotlight, giving the world a glimpse of something not nearly as sexy: a battery. Uh, make that not one but two batteries.
For the future to be good, we need electric transport, solar power and (of course) ... pic.twitter.com/8mwVWukQDL— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2015
Sorry, no Tesla hoverboard. No Tesla motorcycle. Ninety-nine percent nope on those. We’re pretty sure Musk will take to the stage to hype a home battery for everyday people and a “very large” utility-scale battery for businesses, per a letter emailed to Tesla investors and analysts last Tuesday. Oh, so that’s what Musk’s latest tease tweet was supposed to get us all charged up about.
With the big reveal nigh -- it’s scheduled to kick off under the glamorous shade of night at 8 p.m. PT -- here are six things to know about Tesla’s much anticipated next move:
1. The revolution will be live-streamed.
You can watch all the high-powered action as it happens over at www.teslamotors.com/livestream. Also, stay tuned for more Entrepreneur reporting on tonight's Tesla powwow. We'll be live tweeting on site from the event with additional coverage to follow.
2. Tesla’s residential batteries aren’t actually anything new.
Sorry to suck the promotional wind from your sails, Musk, but we know that SolarCity, another company you’re also chairman of and shareholder in, has already installed Tesla residential battery energy storage units for 300 pilot program participants in California’s Bay Area region. Additionally, 150 more batteries are slated to be rolled out by the end of this year, we hear.
3. The batteries aren’t cheap.
Battery pack price tag cha-ching at upwards of an estimated $13,000 each, reports The Guardian. If you can’t cough up all of the cash, leases will likely be available. SolarCity battery customers make a $1,500 payment up front, then pay $15 per month for 10 years, also according to the Guardian.
4. Tesla has inked battery deals with Walmart and Cargill.
Extending its reach beyond luxury electric cars, Tesla has already installed batteries at 11 California Walmart stores to trim energy usage, according to Bloomberg. Cargill, a large beef processing company, will reportedly test a one-megawatt Tesla battery system at its Fresno, Calif. 200,000-square-foot meat processing plant.
Bloomberg also reports that Tesla has also forged deals to power 20 public schools in Temecula, Calif., as well as a winery operated by Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Jackson Family Wines.
5. Tesla’s betting on energy storage at the right time.
The rapidly-expanding U.S. energy storage market is projected to be worth $1.5 billion by 2019, according to GTM Research. That would be about 11 times larger than it was in 2014.
6. The home batteries are big white (boring) boxes.
Well, what did you expect? They’re giant batteries, not slick eco whips. Think oversized, lithium-ion battery-filled white encasements emblazoned with red and white Tesla logos. Not much to look at, really, but it’s what’s under the hood that counts anyways -- gobs of green gold (power).
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.