Elon Musk has mass-produced an affordable electric car (the Telsa); co-founded PayPal; and launched commercial spacecraft. The engineer, serial entrepreneur, and inventor’s next big announcement is tipped to be a superbattery: a cheap battery with the capacity to power your whole home. Power to the People!
The announcement of his next big product is set for April 30th. The ‘superbattery’ is likely to build on the packs used in Tesla’s range of electric cars. Toyota already uses a hydrogen fuel cell in its Mirai car that can be removed from the car to also power up a home.
The visionary Musk has set his vision and focus on solving the problem of storing electricity efficiently, as well as cost-effectively. The whole world is dependent on electricity, but sorely lacks super-capacity and affordable battery technology.
Can Musk and his innovative engineers make inroads to meeting the world’s energy needs by generating electricity without burning more pollutant fossil fuels (or without building nuclear stations)?
Renewable energy technologies are constantly improving and reaching cost parity with dirty fossil fuels. However renewable sources - like wind, solar, and tidal energies - have variable outputs and cannot offer stable electrical supply.
If Musk’s superbattery can store the power that flows from renewables then it would be a monumental game-changer for cutting emissions and weening society off unsustainable, finite fossil fuels.
The idea of creating a battery that can power an entire house isn’t a new one, and it’s actually something Tesla has been tinkering with for at least a year. Musk said he envisioned something “wall mounted, with a beautiful cover, an integrated bi-directional inverter, and plug and play.” On that same 2014 call, Tesla’s chief technical officer JB Straubel spoke to the need and demand for this type of technology — and the applications are limitless: "The long-term demand for stationary energy storage is extraordinary. We’ve done a huge amount of effort there and have talked to major utilities and energy service companies."