Tesla Powerwall In South Africa
I have been waiting, to be brutally honest, with a little trepidation for the Tesla Powerwall news to drop. It finally dropped yesterday, and all my fears were clearly and cleanly dispelled. It appears, as many have thought, that the Tesla Powerwall is here to save the rich, the very rich, and no one else.
When I first did the numbers, and carefully worked out the loss of man-hours and the cost of a grid-tied back-up system here Keeping The Door Shut I had no qualms in the R70k financed cost for a system that was going to keep my wife’s business and my business still operating (we work from home), to keep my kids entertained with TV and iPads and XBox and that sort of stuff, and to keep the house alarmed and the food cold. It also seemed like a good long-term investment and would add value to the house, should we ever decide to move on or go our separate ways, however unlikely that might be.
Still at the back of my mind I was wondering about the Tesla Powerwall – the unit that was going to save us from Eskom and look extremely sexy at the same time. Was I going to regret my decision? Was buyers’ remorse going to come again and was Tesla going to take over the world of power shortages, outages and loadshedding?
At R240k all in for an entry level system (read more here Tesla Powerwall) it seems that the package is well and truly off my radar anyway, as well as most of my friends, and most of their friends, and pretty much all of their friends. We’re not living on the poverty line any of us, but that sort of price point is just too much to pay on a moral level, a practical level, as well as on a financial level. It would be a massive expense to have a household backup system at that sort of cost.
Let’s not ever forget that the Tesla Powerwall is an amazing product and Elon Musk is a very rich man that many people including myself, admire immensely. He is, after all, planning on sending 1 Million People to Mars for R6,9M each read here – Mission To Mars.
The thing is, the Powerwall does have quite remarkable packaging. It’s sleek and bright and has sexy curves and alluring branding. Much like an iPhone, a really beautiful package that appeals to everyone’s appreciation of aesthetics. Thing is, that’s all the iPhone might be – a beautiful outward appearance – but underneath it all it’s still primarily a mobile phone.
Genergy’s suggestion to me of my grid-tied 4kW back up system installed, with a 3.6kwh battery bank and with two photovoltaic panels with micro inverters was spot on (read more here Computer Says No), and despite the fact that there have been very few loadshedding episodes, living fairly far away from a CBD means that power failures are common and are way longer than a two hour load-shed. We’ve been blessed with our system, and it has performed as we needed it to. A backup system, whatever you choose to do, has to perform, otherwise you’re wasting your time and money.
So in closing, I can’t wait for someone I know to get a Tesla Powerwall installed so that I can go around the admire its beauty, to be amazed at its sleekness and ergonomic design, and wonder at that persons obvious excess of cash-in-hand, but I’ll still go home knowing that my Genergy system, at about a quarter of the price, will do a very similar job, and just as effectively.