Last week, Tesla Motors announced an ambitious new product line: batteries to power homes or businesses.
The idea is that homes and businesses powered by solar panels could harvest and store energy during the day that could be used to run homes at night, or be used as a backup during a power outage.
“Our goal is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy,” the company’s founder, Elon Musk, said at a news conference April 30. [Creative Genius: The World’s Greatest Minds]
Although the exact technology involved in the battery, called Powerwall, is a closely guarded secret, it probably isn’t based on revolutionary concepts, said Jordi Cabana, a chemistry professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who studies new battery materials.
“Just looking at the specs that they publicize, it doesn’t look very different — in terms of the cost — to what they’re putting in their cars,” Cabana told Live Science.