Tesla batteries might spur electric boat demand April 18, 2015
Although he hasn’t voiced interest in becoming involved in building electric-powered boats, Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is completely engaged in developing better storage batteries for his car enterprise and sharing the technological gains with others. While some have suggested some of Musk’s visions and goals are out of this world, his success with growing production numbers for all-electric cars and the recent successful launch from Cape Canaveral of a space weather satellite have supported his visionary moniker.
Tesla is expanding its manufacturing footprint into other areas beyond Silicon Valley. To reduce the costs of lithium ion battery packs, Tesla and key strategic partners including Panasonic have begun construction of a gigafactory in Nevada that will facilitate the production of a mass-market affordable vehicle, Model 3. By 2020, the gigafactory will produce more lithium ion cells than all of the world’s combined output in 2013. The gigafactory will also produce battery packs intended for use in stationary storage, helping to improve robustness of the electrical grid, reduce energy costs for businesses and residences, and provide a backup supply of power. Some of these advances could flow to marine.
Other projects involve portable solar and fast charging stations that address challenges of fueling batteries off the grid or fast enough to provide a non-hybrid alternative for all-electric cars that have gone beyond their cruising range.
Beyond portable battery use, Tesla’s new stationary battery could be the gateway that finally links renewable energy to everyday consumers in a way that makes sense, suggests editors at the future of design weblog Inhabitat.com. “The challenge of storing clean energy from solar or wind is one of the reasons people are sticking with grid power. Although Musk hasn’t commented on the cost of Tesla’s newest energy offering, chances are good that it will still represent a savings versus grid electricity over the course of its lifetime … An innovation in energy like this isn’t just for the chic eco-friendly homeowner. These batteries could be a huge benefit for those living in areas where grid power is unreliable due to power outages.”