GTM applauds Tesla for increasing energy capacity and improving aesthetics of second-gen Tesla Energy products, while adding in-house inverter
Last month, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) launched its long-awaited, next-generation products for its stationary storage arm, Tesla Energy. We already know that the company doubled the energy capacity of both the Powerwall and Powerpack, while improving on the aesthetics and not doubling their price. Additionally, it has started offerings its own inverters.
Given the storage systems have the lowest cost per kWh, The Country Caller believes that Tesla’s new products could be revolutionary. Let’s see what Greentech Media (GTM), the renowned market analysis firm for renewable energy, has to say about the technologies.
While lithium-ion batteries costs are rapidly going down through economies of scales, GTM found it “striking” that to find the energy density of Powerwall and Powerpack have doubled in merely a year and a hour, after they were launched in May 2015. It believes that improvement in energy capacity is both quantifiable and essential to the technologies’ widespread adoption.
Tesla’s residential storage system offers 7kW of power capacity and 15kWh of energy storage, compared to average daily US household requirement of 30kWh. This suggests that two Powerwall units could fulfill the daily electricity requirements of a typical home in the US; therefore, the storage systems are eventually started to make economic sense.
The research firm expects that such continuous doubling of power capacity with little price increases should eventually lead to availability of systems with more energy than a household requires. This will probably be when the innovation will shift from lowering costs to streamlining the system’s services.
The most notable change in the new products is the addition of Tesla-made inverters deployed inside the batteries, according to GTM’s Julian Spector. This leads to lower space requirement for the system and better looks. Additionally, it also simplifies the installation process, and lowers installation time and labor required to deploy the technology.
The platform highlighted that Tesla manufactures its own inverters to send power from its vehicles’ battery pack to their drivetrain; but it used third-party inverters like Dynapower and SolarEdge for its storage products. The company finally realized that those inverters were more costly than they should be. The in-house-built inverter is a bad news for the existing third-party suppliers, GTM suggested.
Vertically integration makes a lot of sense here because the company can reduce the end price, while maintaining decent margins. Now, Tesla is different from other storage battery makers because they are dependent on inverter makers. For example, LG Chem partners with Eguana and Sonnen works with Outback. GTM was also impressed with Powerwall’s new designs, stating that it does not merely has looks; it also provides more space, makes it easy to handle, gives the ability to stand on its own, compared to the curved exterior of the version one.