Run­ning a Tesla just got cheaper

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VIJOEN

CON­FIRM­ING the care­fully leaked ru­mours that had been do­ing the rounds for months, Edi­son In­ter­na­tional and Tesla last week launched bat­tery packs that prom­ise to make so­lar power af­ford­able.

The greeny dream is to use the cheap sun­shine to power our lives, but stor­ing that power as elec­tric­ity has so far been too ex­pen­sive to com­pete with burning wood or fos­sil fu­els.

En­ter the Tesla Pow­er­wall Home Bat­tery — the first bat­ter­ies that do not “suck” at be­ing bat­ter­ies, ac­cord­ing to Tesla founder Elon Musk.

A seven-kilo­watt-hour ver­sion will sell for $3 000, (about R36 200) and a 10-kWh ver­sion will sell for $3 500 (R42 222) to elec­tri­cians who will in­stall the wall-mounted units.

The pow­er­packs are made with South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son (SCE), a sub­sidiary of Edi­son En­ergy that pro­vides rooftop so­lar sys­tems.

Tesla is also testing 100-kWh bat­ter­ies that will not be wall mounted but as­sem­bled into grid-stor­age ar­rays rang­ing from 500 kWh to 10 MWh in ca­pac­ity.

SCE is work­ing with Tesla to show how homes and busi­nesses can turn sun­light into elec­tric­ity. One such busi­ness is Cine­mark Hold­ings, Inc., which in­stalled Tesla bat­ter­ies at two of their the­atres in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

Next up, the in­dus­try awaits bat­tery banks where con­sumers can ex­change a dis­charged bat­tery pack with a charged one to con­tinue a jour­ney.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The full-elec­tric Tesla S burning rub­ber — the lat­est spin-off from Tesla — is a lot greener, in the form of cheaper bat­ter­ies that will make us­ing so­lar power more af­ford­able.

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