The electric car maker will sell batteries homeowners can use to store solar energy. Analysts say this could generate big revenues. Fred Katayama reports.
Tesla Motors is driving beyond electric cars and into your home. It unveiled new batteries that'll store solar energy. CEO Elon Musk says homeowners can use them as backup power or go totally off the grid. SOUNDBITE: ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA MOTORS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It gives you peace of mind. If there is a cut in the utilities, you're always going to have power. If you're in a place that is very cold, you don't have to worry about being out of power if there is an ice storm. You could actually go, if you want, completely off grid." That home version is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery called Powerwall. Meant to be hung on a wall, the cheapest model goes for $3,000. Tesla is also putting out huge industrial batteries it calls "power packs." They are aimed at helping utilities manage renewable energy on the grid. Deutsche Bank estimates the home and industrial battery business could generate as much as $4.5 billion in revenue for Tesla. Robert W. Baird analyst Benjamin Kallo said, "We believe energy storage is a large, intermediate to long-term opportunity which should become a significant revenue driver over time." Tesla shares added to their 1.6 percent gain this year in early trading.