“We are currently in production and have started installing Powerwalls with pilot customers,” Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson told Electrek. “Over the next few weeks we will continue to ramp up volume production.” Customers in North America, Australia, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland will be among the first to get batteries.
Tesla announced its 7 kilowatt-hour models, as well as a 10 kilowatt-hour version, on May 1, and they received 38,000 reservations within a week. The battery allows homeowners with solar panels to store energy gathered when the sun is up, then use it at night or during power outages. The $3,000 lithium-ion batteries were originally going to discharge 2.2 kilowatts in continuous use and 3.3 kilowatts at peak use. In June, Tesla announced it would double that output to 5 kilowatts and 7 kilowatts, respectively, after critics argued that 2.2 kilowatts wasn’t enough juice to power a house full of electronics.
There isn’t much information about where and when units will start shipping in the U.S., but the batteries will arrive in Australia by the end of the year, where they face competition from similar devices. “The Tesla product isn’t unique by any stretch, but it’s the Apple brand of the battery storage industry,” Professor Anthony Vassallo, a University of Sydney sustainability expert, tells The Guardian. “They have the sex appeal that others don’t.”
Tesla’s Gigafactory (its $5 billion battery-production site outside Reno, Nevada) isn’t yet operational, but if it comes online next year, it could help with the production of more Powerwalls, as well as car batteries. As of now, Tesla isn’t yet shipping the $3,500 10 kilowatt-hour home battery but plans to start in 2016.
Update 9/25/2015: Updated to clarify that Tesla increased the amount of power the batteries will provide.