Tesla unveils batteries for homes, businesses

Electric auto maker Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled plans to make a line of batteries to enable homes, businesses and other buildings to store power.

The announcement at Tesla’s Hawthorne, Calif., design studio is meant to enable property owners to make better use of renewable energy like solar and wind power, which are intermittent.

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“We are talking about trying to change the fundamental energy infrastructure of the world,” Tesla Chief Elon Musk said at the unveiling event, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The line of batteries is being dubbed Tesla Energy and presented as an extension of the batteries that make Tesla’s cars possible.

The first battery from the line will be the Tesla Powerwall, able to store 10 kilowatt-hours, which would power a typical home for about 10 hours, the Times reported. It uses the same lithium-ion technology as the Tesla Model S vehicle.

The Powerwall will sell for $3,500, and a less powerful model will go for $3,000, with both available this summer. Each is about six inches thick, meant to be attached to a wall.

Musk said the batteries could be particularly useful in the developing world, enabling people to rely on solar power or other intermittent energy supplies.

“You can be free of the grid,” he said.