Why you could soon be buying your electricity from Elon Musk

February 25th, 2014 § 0 comments

Having a fleet of electric cars plugged into the power grid is tremendously valuable. Power plants make up for their inability to store energy by ramping up their output at peak usage hours. Since wind and solar plants don’t have that luxury they are left at a disadvantage to coal and gas power plants. If, however, we stick a large battery in every driveway and hook it up to the gird we can level the playing field by drawing power from the idle cars during peak hours and charging them back up during off peak.

John McDuling over at Quartz points out that Tesla is poised to do just that.

Tesla doesn’t just make high-performance automobiles, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas argues, it’s also producing a mobile fleet of electrical grid storage.  The 40,000 Tesla vehicles already on the US roads contain about 3.3 gigawatts of storage capacity, roughly 0.3% of US electrical production capacity and 14% of US grid storage, he estimates. 

I’m not sure if it’s impressive for Tesla or pitiful for our electrical grid that the nascent car maker already makes up 14% of the electrical grid. Either way the potential upside for renewable energy is huge.

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