Global rollout of the Powerwall home battery continues, with Japan installations slated for 2020
The gradual rollout of Tesla’s rechargeable battery system for people’s homes continues, with the news that installations of the Powerwall battery will begin in Japan in 2020.
According to Reuters, Tesla’s 13.5 kilowatt-hour (kWh) Powerwall can store power generated by solar panels and costs 990,000 yen ($9,135).
Deployments of the Powerwall has been a lengthy process. It was back in 2015 that US electric carmaker Tesla Motors had unveiled a rechargeable battery system that could help lessen reliance on the national grid for energy needs.
Four years later Tesla has now apparently installed Powerwall systems at about 50,000 sites in seven countries since its launch in 2015, a company official told Reuters.
The idea is that the Powerwall system will store solar energy, and can be used to power a home during the evening and morning, and also safeguards a house against power outages by providing a backup electricity supply.
When it was launched, Telsa pointed out that the typical home tends to use the most power in the morning and evening.
During the day solar energy is plentiful, but it is when the sun is down or about to rise, that homes typically use the bulk of their energy.
This means that houses with solar panels will often sell the power company their excess solar energy during the day, but then buy it back in the morning and evening.
Tesla has apparently being taking orders online from Japanese customers since 2016, but had not announced when installations would start, a company spokeswoman said.
Now it will sell Powerwall units in Japan directly online by Tesla or via certain third-party installers.
“Tesla believes that the Japanese home battery market has big growth potential,” Shinji Asakura, country manager of energy products in Japan, was quoted by Reuters as telling reporters in Tokyo.
He cited feed-in-tariffs, which had guaranteed minimum power prices to spur solar development, are starting to expire later this year.
The need for backup power supply during outages due to natural disasters also offers growth potential, he said.
Japan of course was struck by Typhoon Hagibis this past weekend, which has left at least 40 people dead, with 16 missing.
The deadly storm delivered winds speeds of up to 225km/h (140mph), and a number of Rugby World Cup matches (including England vs France) were cancelled as a result.