The first day of fall 2015 is fast approaching. The fall season begins on Wednesday, September 23. It could also be seen as somewhat of a deadline for Elon Musk, the energy division at Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), and SolarCity Corporation (NASDAQ: SCTY), of which Musk is a major shareholder and was founded by his cousins.
The Inquisitr previously reported on a seeming gap between Tesla investors and the scientific community.
Back on April 30, 2015, Musk made a major announcement about the formation of Tesla Energy and the unveiling of a new product named Powerwall, a battery that can be used as a backup power source, to store power from solar collected during the day for use at night, and for collecting grid power at off-peak times for use at peak times, typically at the beginning and end of the day, reducing utility charges.
“You can go to TeslaEnergy.com and you can order the Powerwall right now,” Musk can be heard stating at the first showing of the Powerwall. “They’re going to start shipping in three to four months.”
Three to four months from April 30 is between July 30 and August 30. Each day has come and gone, and the news feeds, the Tesla website, and the Tesla Twitter feed remain silent on Powerwall deliveries. With the first day of fall 2015 almost here, the Tesla website sill reads, “Deliveries begin this summer” with regard to the Powerwall.
After an initial flurry of activity in the Tesla Powerwall forum following the day of its release, the community has been silent since May 28. Observers have been split on the Powerall since the day it was unveiled.
“We are at the very beginning in energy storage in general,” Phil Hermann, a lead engineer with Panasonic Eco Solutions, stated to the Guardian. “Most of the projects currently going on are either demo projects or learning experiences for the utilities. There is very little direct commercial stuff going on.” Panasonic has been a major supplier of batteries to Tesla.
Tesla’s new “Gigafactory” lithium ion battery production will “far outstrip” demand from Tesla cars, which, in part, has left scientists appearing to scratch their heads.
“It might be a commercial success, but as a scientist I don’t think what Tesla’s proposing is a good solution,” the Guardian quoted Tom Milnes, CEO of Open Water Power. “Personally I think the Tesla factory producing hundreds of thousands more lithium-ion batteries is really short sighted because those batteries are just never going to hold the amount of energy we need them to.”
Even though the Tesla Powerwall was first touted with a price near $3,500, SolarCity is offering both a lease and a purchase option (including an inverter) that run $5,000 and $7,140 respectively, according to Inside EVs. And even though the last day of August has passed and the first day of fall 2015 looms near, evidence of the delivery of even one Powerwall to a residential customer remains elusive.
Perhaps more puzzling is that as the first day of fall approaches, a product that was to begin shipping by “late summer” and appears to have not is now being offered to customers in Australia, reports Science Alert. The same $3,500 number is being thrown around, as is a similar vague promise of a day deliveries will begin.
At least in Australia this coincides with the start of summer rather than the first day of fall. One would hope that there are no customers in the United States planning on using the Powerwall to heat their home as temperatures chill to fall levels.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]