Tesla’s Elon Musk introduces ‘beautiful’ money-saving home battery backup system

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on Thursday officially announced two battery backup products, one for homes and one for industrial use, at an event at the company’s Southern California design studio.

The lithium-ion battery modules can store electricity from solar panels and serve to balance loads from the grid, charging up during non-peak energy usage hours, then providing energy to a home or facility during peak hours.

Homeowners will be able to get the module called the Powerwall, which Tesla will sell in 7- and 10 kilowatt-hour modules. Musk said that certified installers could buy the smaller pack for $3,000 and the larger pack for $3,500. (UK and Australian details were not announced.)

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30:  Guests pose with the Powerwall unit after Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla unveiled suit of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities at Tesla Design Studio April 30, 2015 in Hawthorne, California. Musk unveiled the home battery named Powerwall with a selling price of $3500 for 10kWh and $3000 for 7kWh and very large utility pack called Powerpack. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

For industrial applications, Tesla will offer the Powerpack, sold in 100-kilowatt-hour modules at $25,000 each. Musk said that Tesla would work with industrial customers on these installations. The battery backup systems come under a new product line at Tesla called Tesla Energy.

To this point, Tesla has been known as an automaker, producing electric-powered cars such as theModel S sedan, which also use lithium-ion batteries. In that role, it has proved to be a catalyst for change in the car business, as a number of major automakers over the last several years have unveiled their own electric vehicles. Tesla’s entrance into the home-charging business could spark a similar trend in that realm.