Tesla Motors, the manufacturer and proponent of electric vehicles, might deal a crippling blow to utility companies with its plan to make renewable energy and the storage of that energy more accessible to the public.
A recent report on Motherboard.com has outlined how the electric car maker Tesla has been touted by Morgan Stanley, the multinational financial services corporation, as the most important auto company in the world. Its importance doesn’t come from the sleek and efficient styling of its automobiles, but rather because of its efforts to develop and mass-produce better energy storage.
Tesla, in partnership with Panasonic, is beginning construction on its Gigafactory in the Southwestern United States. According to a recent press release from Tesla, the Gigafactory is being built to facilitate an ongoing reduction in the cost of its long range battery packs. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is also the chairman of Solar City, a company specializing in leasing rooftop solar energy panels to homeowners. As production in the Gigafactory begins, the same batteries used to power Tesla’s vehicles may also make their way into the homes of Solar City customers.
In a report emphasizing the importance of the Gigafactory project, Morgan Stanley outlined the corporation’s beliefs that Tesla’s energy storage will be economically viable in parts of the U.S. and Europe, and will be able to offer energy storage at a fraction of the cost of current storage alternatives.
Although these projections depend on many variables, Tesla’s huge push toward cost reduction of renewable energy may create more incentive to turn one’s home into a power plant capable of storing the energy it captures.
If more homes remove themselves from the current power infrastructure, it could lead to increased costs to the remaining customers as the market share declines. As energy production begins to lean in the direction of renewable power sources, the faith that Morgan Stanley is placing in Tesla’s future and its impact on the energy market might be enough to create more incentives for consumers to change the way they receive their energy.