Tesla in Australia 2018/2019 – Facts & Figures

Tesla have announced their Q2 earnings which notes that they have a ‘crazy’ growth outlook despite cell shortage and a slow deployment of their solar roof. Tesla in Australia is still very far behind the USA, but what can we expect the future to bring?

Tesla in Australia – 2018/19

What can Australians expect from Tesla over the next financial year? We’ve had an agonisingly slow rollout down under and there are many people waiting to see how long it takes for the solar roof to make its way out here.

With the cell shortage that has crippled availability of the Tesla Powerwall 2 in Australia, is it worth waiting for the Powerwall 3 instead? There hasn’t been any announcement yet so it really depends on your personal situation. 

The Tesla Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York is in working on speeding up production of the Solar Roof. They hope to produce 1 GW of solar products at the site annually beginning in 2019, and Tesla has said that it could even reach 2 GW/year down the track. The Gigafactory produces standard solar panels, along with the Solar Roof.

So if you have a bit of patience and are happy to wait until 2019, it’s fine to wait. Solar batteries still have a bit of a ways to go before they are a no-brainer for people to install, let alone the solar roof. But in the meantime, there are certainly solar roof alternatives like the Tractile solar roof tile or the Sonnen/Bristile partnership which they’ve called ‘Solartile‘. Have you got any questions or any experience with any of these solar shingles? Please let us know in the comments. 

Where is the Tesla Solar Roof?

Tesla in Australia - Solar Roof via @Toblerhaus on Twitter
Tesla in Australia – Tesla Solar Roof 2018 Installation (California) (source: @Toblerhaus on Twitter)

We’ve written about the Tesla Solar Roof before – and we’ve also written about its place in the Australian ecosystem, given that they’re rare as hen’s teeth in America, let alone over here. According to PV Magazine USA, it’s probable that the Tesla Solar Roof will not help their bottom line (Energy Generation and Division Revenues) until halfway through 2019 at the earliest. The reasons for this are for safety and the time lag it’s taking to get all their ducks in a row.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk clarified:

“It takes a while to confirm that the Solar Roof is going to last for 30 years and all the details work out, and we’re working with first responders to make sure it’s safe in the event of a fire and that kind of thing. So it’s quite a long validation program for a roof which has got to last for 30, 40, 50 years, but we also expect to ramp that up next year at our Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo. That’s going to be super exciting.”

According to Musk ‘several hundred’ Solar Roofs have been deployed, are being installed or scheduled for install, and international expansion (i.e. Australia!) is slowly rolling out.

PV Magazine have also written about some of the first solar roof installations in the USA – please click here to read some more about them.

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Tesla’s SolarCity to be heavily downsized.

Tesla’s domestic solar company SolarCity is to be heavily downsized “in line” with a 9% staff cut across the board for the cash-burning company. Approximately a dozen installation facilities and a retail partnership with Home Depot will be closing as it appears Tesla will focus more on producing its Model 3 electric cars, with solar taking somewhat of a back seat for the immediate future.

Tesla’s SolarCity to be heavily downsized.

Tesla SolarCity downsizing.
Tesla’s SolarCity downsizing. (source: TheStreet)

SolarCity, a residential solar business Tesla bought for $2.6 in 2016, will face some significant cuts including the closing down of ~25% of its installation facilities. The Guardian reported that Tesla haven’t announced which locations will close but an “internal email” advised that the sites which may be closed are located in California, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Arizona and Delaware.

They also fired “dozens” of staffers at solar call centers in Nevada and Utah – so what does this mean for Tesla’s solar future? Has the enigmatic Elon Musk (who owned around 20% of Tesla and SolarCity when the takeover occurred) bitten off more than he can chew with regards to the world’s energy future? You certainly can’t fault his vision – but can he keep all the balls in the air while burning $8,000 a minute?

Tesla’s February Q1 report noted that sales of solar panels “have declined over the last few quarters due in large part to our strategic decision to shutter certain sales channels and market segments.”

According to the report, Tesla deployed 76 megawatts of solar systems during the quarter, or 62 percent less than what SolarCity was deploying in early 2016. It looks like these numbers are set to sink even lower.

The news of Tesla’s solar closures comes hot on the heels of the company initiating legal action against a former Gigafactory worker turned saboteur/whistleblower (depends on which side you’d like to take) – so it’s been a very trying week to add to a fairly trying 12 months for the cash strapped company. 

Would Tesla’s solar enterprise be better off being run separately? We’ll find out soon enough, but fingers crossed in the meantime. 

 

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Lightsource BP offering residential PPAs

Lightsource BP, a UK based solar and smart energy solutions company, is preparing to move into the Australian market where they will offer residential rooftop PV solar power at no upfront cost – instead using the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) model usually reserved for large-scale solar installs. 

Lightsource BP Solar in Australia

Lightsource BP in Australia
Lightsource BP in Australia (source: bp.com)

Lightsource Labs Australia Pty Ltd (LS Labs) have applied to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to launch their product, asking for an individual exemption to hold a retailer authorisation. The application says that LS Labs could launch their product in NSW, SA, QLD, and VIC within a couple of weeks, so all eyes on the regulator to see if they’re happy to grant the exemption.

The way LS Lab’s product will work is that they will supply, install, operate and maintain a solar array, batter and smart metering system to homes, and then sell the renewable power to the client at a fixed price under a PPA model. According to Renewables Now, the period of PPA could be up to 20 years and price per kWh will depend on the terms of each individual contract (i.e. it’ll be cheaper depending on how long the contract is). They also note that customers will be offered the opportunity to buy the system at any time after the second year of the PPA.

RenewEconomy is reporting that Lightsource BP partnered with French company Edf in the UK – using LG Chem batteries as part of the ‘Sunplug’ program. These PPAs were around 9.9p/kWh (~$0.18 AUD) so it’ll be interesting to see how this fares in the Australian market. 

Last month, Lightsource BP acquired Ubiworx Systems to help support a plan for the global launch of a smart-home solution. Kareen Boutonnat, COO of Lightsource BP, said at the time that the “power of the home” will be very important with regards to shaping the world’s “new energy future” – a situation where the energy market transcends monitoring and controlling of consumption, turning ‘smart homes’ into ‘genius homes’ (as we call them). Will be exciting to see where this goes over the next few years! 

 

 

 

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Tesla Powerwall in 2018 – Availability in Australia.

What can we expect from the Tesla Powerwall in 2018? Elon Musk’s company have released their Q4 report from last year, and it also has a lot of interesting information about the direction they’re planning on taking things in 2018. It looks like the days of the severely limited supply of the Powerwall may be coming to an end. 

Tesla Energy Display - Tesla Powerwall in 2018
Tesla Energy Display – Tesla Powerwall in 2018 (source: Tesla.com)

Tesla Powerwall in 2018 – Residential Energy Storage

The Tesla Powerwall 2 has been out in Australia for almost a year now – the problem is that they have been hard to come by and Tesla have had a very difficult time meeting demand for their energy storage products (we’re not even going to delve into the Model 3 fiasco…)

“2018 will see major growth in Tesla energy storage deployments, as the production ramp of our storage products is just as steep as with Model 3,” Tesla said. “This year, we aim to deploy at least three times the storage capacity we deployed in 2017.”

They went on to elaborate on the reason Powerwalls were so difficult to source last year:

“We also deployed 87 MW of energy generation systems in Q4,
which is 20% less than Q3 2017. Solar MW deployed declined as
volumes continue to be impacted by our decision to close certain
sales channels earlier this year and to focus on projects with better
margins. In addition, solar deployments were affected by the short
supply of Powerwalls for customers who wanted solar plus
Powerwall in their house. While volumes may continue to be
impacted by these factors over the near-term, we expect growth to
resume later this year. “

This begs the question – with so many issues scaling up their energy storage how will this impact the Powerwall 3 release date announcement?

Tesla Powerpack in 2018 – Commercial Energy Storage

After the unparalleled success of the Tesla battery in South Australia, it’s unsurprising to see that they’re going to have a strong focus on commercial solar storage. 

 “Due to the success of this project, we’re seeing an increase in demand for Powerpack, our commercial energy storage product. With more electric utilities and governments around the world recognizing the reliability, environmental, and economic benefits of this product, it’s clear that there is a huge opportunity for us in large scale energy storage” their Q4 statement read. 
 
It’ll be interesting to see exactly what applications we’ll see the Powerpack being used in, both in Australia and worldwide. 

Tesla Solar Roof 2018 Update

According to the report, initial production at the Gigafactory 2 started in Q4 and Tesla are “deliberately ramping production at a gradual pace”. When “fully scaled”, the Buffalo, NY based Gigafactory 2 will be able to produce enough solar cells to add more than 150,000 new residential solar installations every year. 

If you want to learn more about the Tesla, Inc. Fourth Quarter 2017 Financial Results Q&A conference call click here to visit their site or you can find the PDF of the update letter here – Tesla Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2017 Update

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Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date, Specifications, Cost.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date, Specs, Cost, and Rumors.

With the great success of the Tesla Powerwall 2, people are already talking about its successor. Although the Powerwall 2 is a fantastic device and can help many households save a lot of money on their power bill, it’s far from a ‘no brainer’ at this point – you need to crunch the numbers to ensure it’s going to be worthwhile to install in your house. But with the cost of lithium-ion dropping rapidly and Tesla competitors chomping at the bit with innovative solutions to battery storage, we’ve no doubt that there’s plenty of work being done on the Tesla Powerwall 3. Could this be the device that finally makes PV solar + storage a standard for homes? Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that they “expect to sell more Powerwalls than cars” so it’s a major part of their business. What features will the Powerwall 3 have? What will it cost and when can we expect it? Read on for more…

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date
Tesla Powerwall 3 – What can we expect?

Tesla Powerwall 3 Release Date

At this point we aren’t sure exactly when the Powerwall 3 is coming out, but let’s look at the time difference between the Powerwall and the Powerwall 2 and see if that gives us any clues:

Powerwall 1: Development commenced in 2012. Announced in 2015 with a pilot demonstration 0f 500 units built and installed. Production moved from Tesla Fremont to Gigafactory 1. Initially came in two models – 10kWh nickel-cobalt-aluminium cathode for backup and 7kWh for daily cycle application. Work on the 10kWh battery was discontinued and they focused on the 7kWh model and brought it to Australia in 2015, with a ten year limited warranty. 

Powerwall 2: Development commencement unknown. Announced in October 2016 at Universal Studios. Production of 2170 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries for the Powerwall 2, Powerpack 2 and Model 3 EVs starts in January, 2017.  First Australian installations early June, 2017. 

Powerwall 3: Potential 2018 announcement.

Tesla Powerwalls in 2018

Tesla’s 129MWh South Australian Battery Farm
According to GTM, in Q4 2017 they deployed 143 MWh of energy storage products, which represented a 45 percent from the same quarter YOY (year-on-year). The 129 MWh of energy storage  the Tesla Battery in South Australia partnership last year will be represented in their figures for Q1 2018.

“Solar [megawatts] deployed declined as volumes continue to be impacted by our decision to close certain sales channels earlier this year and to focus on projects with better margins,” Tesla stated. “In addition, solar deployments were affected by the short supply of Powerwalls for customers who wanted solar plus Powerwall in their house. While volumes may continue to be impacted by these factors over the near term, we expect growth to resume later this year.”

So they were about to build the South Australian battery farm within the 100 days they promised, Tesla had Samsung supply the batteries instead of manufacturing them at their Gigafactory. So it looks like they have a way to go with regards to scaling up their manufacturing processes before we start to even think about seeing a Powerwall 3. 

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Tesla Powerwall 3 Specifications and Features

 

Tesla Powerwall 1 Specs

Dimensions 1302mm long, 862mm wide, 183cm diameter (51.3″ x 34″ x 7.2″)
Battery 7kWh battery (6.4kWh ‘Usable Capacity’)
Power 7kW peak power, 5kW continuous power.
Scalability up to 10 Powerwalls
Weight 97kg (214 pounds)
Cooling Liquid Cooling (liquid thermal control)
Efficiency 92.5% round-trip DC efficiency (at optimal conditions – 25 degrees celcius (77 Fahrenheit) with 2kW charge/discharge power)
  • Tesla Powerwall 1 Specifications and Cost
    Tesla Powerwall 1 Specifications and Cost

    Wall or floor mountable, indoor or outdoor.

  • 100% Depth of Discharge
  • 10 year unlimited cycle warranty

 

 

 

 

 

Tesla Powerwall 2 Specs

Dimensions 1150mm long, 755mm wide, 155mm diameter. (45″ x 30″ x 6″)
Battery 14kWh battery (13.5kWh ‘Usable Capacity’)
Power 7kW peak power, 5kW continuous power.
Scalability up to 10 AC-coupled Powerwall 2’s
Weight Weighs 119.9kg (264.4 pounds)
Cooling Liquid Cooling
Efficiency >90% round trip efficiency.
Tesla Powerwall 2 Specifications and Cost
Tesla Powerwall 2 Specifications and Cost
  • Wall or floor mountable, indoor or outdoor.
  • 10 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Integrated Inverter (converts the DC energy into AC energy you need to use in your house)
  • Control and view your energy usage/storage with the Tesla app (iOS and Android)
  • Degradation – it will hold around 70% of the 13.5kWh after 10 years.
  • Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 3G connectivity.
  • Off-grid support (AC Coupled)
  • Single Phase feed in.
  • 100% depth of discharge available.
  • Outside of the USA: Powerwall 2 doesn’t include inverter with the DC version and only works with a Solar Edge inverter.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Specs

This is all conjecture at this point, but we think some of the features the Tesla Powerwall 3 could include:

  • Heavily optimised for and integrated with Tesla Solar Roof (Aussies can preorder one now, will be available in 2018)
  • Heavily optimised and integrated with Tesla Electric Car (Model S, Model 3 etc.). 
  • Upgraded intelligent energy management – will learn your household’s usage, draw from weather forecasts etc. to ensure your house, battery, car or hot water stay at 100% and you are only feeding back into the grid when it’s optimal.
  • Inbuilt hybrid inverter (i.e. you can plug solar panels directly into it, eliminating the need for a separate inverter for your solar panels. The current inverter is just a battery inverter)
  • 28kWh battery (~26kWh usable capacity)
  • We predict they’ll stick with lithium-ion for the battery as its price is very affordable.
  • Alternatively, Tesla may stick with the 14kWh batteries, make them smaller and easier to install – 14kWh is sufficient power for many households – it depends on the cost/size of the batteries)
  • Single and three phase power compatible. 
  • DC version includes inbuilt inverter.
  • By 2018 Tesla expect their Gigafactory to manufacture 35 gigawatt-hours per year of battery cells. Almost as much as the current global combined battery production capacity. What will this mean for the Powerwall III?
  • What features do you think the Powerwall 3 will have? What would make it a ‘no-brainer’ for you to purchase?  Let us know in the comments.

Tesla Powerwall 3 Price

The cost of the Powerwall 1 and the Powerwall 2 was roughly the same, so we don’t expect the price of the Powerwall 3 to fluctuate more than around 20%. 

Powerwall 1 Price (Australian Installation): Around $10,000 (7kWh battery, installation and supporting hardware included).

Powerwall 2 Price (Australian Installation): Around $10,000 (14kWh battery, installation and supporting hardware included).

Powerwall 3 Price: (Australian Installation): We estimate it will stay around $10,000 installed. 

Powerwall Installers in Australia

There are quite a few companies ready to install the Powerwall 2 in Australia – here are some:

Powerwall Alternatives

If you’re not necessarily sold on the Powerwall 2 and don’t want to wait for the Powerwall 3, there are many Powerwall competitors and alternatives you can investigate, such as sonnenBYD B-Box Solar BatteryRedback Technologies, Fronius, Mercedes-Benz, and Eaton Nissan xStorage

Our Solar Battery Comparison area will help – if you have any questions or would like some guidance please email us or simply ask in the questions below! While the Powerwall is certainly an amazing product, depending on your personal circumstances you can get a better result by using one of its competitors. The sonnenBatterie, for example, is onto its 8th iteration and powers 75% of German energy storage – it has a modular capacity from 2-16kWh and, amongst others, is definitely worth a look. 

Here are some other searches you may be interested in:

  • fronius solar battery price australia
  • ampetus energy pod price
  • tesla powerwall 2 3 phase?
  • zen energy battery cost
  • tesla powerpack price australia
  • imergy esp5 australia 

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NorthVolt shape up as Tesla competitor

A Swedish company called NorthVolt AB are hoping to halve the cost of energy storage by building a 4 billion euro lithium-ion battery factory to rival Tesla‘s ‘gigafactory’. The Stockholm-based company is the brainchild of founder Peter Mikael Carlsson, Tesla’s former head of sourcing and supply chains.

The NorthVolt Vision

NorthVolt Peter Mikael Carlsson
The NorthVolt Team (source: northvolt.com)

According to Bloomberg, NorthVolt are hoping to raise 1 billion euros by 2018 so they’re able to commence construction on a factory in Q3, and start production in 2020. Carlsson says NorthVolt are going to announce a shortlist of possible manufacturing sites (all based in Sweden) in a month or two. They’ve already raised 5 million kronor (~675,000 euros) from for their foray into energy storage technology.

“Europe will be a very important market for energy storage,” Carlsson told Bloomberg in a phone interview, adding: “…there is a huge need for back-up power. There is also a sizable auto industry that has made big promises to go electric.” “Coming out of this partnership round and going into a larger financing round next, we see that it will look favourable to the financial market that we have a number of customers that have already shown commitment by investing in us.”

So we can see that NorthVolt have a huge vision and Carlsson certainly has the pedigree to be able to pull it off –

Inverse report that the completed Northvolt factory will produce 32 gigawatt-hours of storage per annum – in comparison to Tesla’s Gigafactory, slated to produce 35 gigawatt-hours. Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO, has been quoted as saying 35 gigawatt-hours is enough to power 1% of the entire world’s energy supply onto renewable – so it’d be amazing to have two of them up and running within the next few years. How long until the entire world is running on 100% renewable energy? Maybe not in any too-near timeframe but it isn’t that far off, either.

We’ve linked a video below which introduces Northvolt and how they plan to commence ‘Enabling the Future of Energy’ – it’s just a short primer but well worth a watch if you’re interested (and if you’ve made it to the end of this article hopefully you will be!). We look forward to reporting more about NorthVolt vs. Tesla in the future. Keeping in mind it’s not exactly a competition and we hope they both succeed.

 

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