With Australia’s first Powerwall installation taking place only last week, Tesla has no plans of slowing down as production and demand for the household batteries continues to ramp up. A more efficient and cost-effective home battery is on the horizon.
The latest news comes from Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk himself, commenting on the Powerwall’s production during an event for Tesla owners in Paris: “We are coming up with the version two of the Powerwall probably around July or August of this year, which will see further step changes in capabilities.” While Musk didn’t elaborate on what would be improved with the new generation of Powerwall batteries, the company has always focussed on consistently improving their renewable energy solutions — and making them more affordable and accessible to the general public.
With the current payback time of a first generation Powerwall being estimated at somewhere between 20 and 25 years depending on feed-in tariffs and energy costs, there are hopes that subsequent generations may improve both efficiency and cost to bring that number down. As it stands now, the estimated timeframe of the production of Powerwall’s version two also coincides with the period when Tesla’s Gigafactory is expected to start producing its own battery cells. The cells currently used by Tesla are manufactured solely by Panasonic under contract.
Musk has said that the Gigafactory’s battery cells that are to be produced in-house will feature “moderate improvements” in technology, but it’s as yet unclear as to how these improvements will impact the Powerwall 2.0. The company currently uses a nickel cobalt aluminium (NCA) type battery cell for both its electric vehicles and its 10 kWh Powerwall, while the 7 kWh daily cycle Powerwall uses a nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) battery cell, boasting a longer cycle life while sacrificing energy density.
With installations of the Powerwall now occurring across Australia, it comes as no surprise that Musk has teased at “a lot of trials underway” for both the domestic Powerwall and the industrial scale Powerpack, with reports of “very good results”. We can only hope that with further improvement to this technology, seeing solar panels on every Australian roof will no longer seem like such an impossible pipe dream.