Even if its electric cars turn out to be a complete flop, Tesla Motors has an ace up its sleeve: the skills and tech and expertise to corner the world's high-tech battery market. Tesla's technology boss knows that, and it turns out he didn't get into the game just to make cool new vehicles — he wants to change the entire energy landscape.
The 2014 Energy Storage Symposium may not sound like the most thrilling conference, but what is being talked about is genuinely pretty interesting. Tesla Motors chief technology officer JB Straubel — one of the brains behind the company's innovative electric car designs — speaks for an hour as the keynote speaker, talking about his job as one of the people that makes the big decisions at Tesla, as well as dealing with battery companies like Panasonic and car companies like Toyota.
Straubel's talk gives a wider view of the electric car race as it currently stands, but he says the company isn't committed just to producing EVs — it also wants to become the go-to company when it comes to batteries and electricity storage. Tesla's gigafactory is projected to double the current worldwide output of lithium-ion battery cells, partially to cope with the possible demand for Tesla's mass-market electric car but also to provide batteries to other industries like solar PV storage and industrial applications.
If you have a spare hour to educate yourself about the possible bright future of energy storage, watch JB Straubel's talk on YouTube below. If that sounds boring, think about it this way — if high-tech battery storage takes off in a few years, you'll be kicking yourself for not knowing about it earlier.