Why Every Electric Vehicle Owner needs a Home Battery

by Anna Gretz
January 15, 2017
Home Battery

There’s a reason why Elon Musk has focused Tesla’s resources on developing a three-fold technology empire.

Tesla, known for their electric vehicles, has risen as a name in both the energy generation and storage markets in a big way. Tesla’s newest, most exciting product debuts have been the Model S electric vehicle, the Powerwall 2 home battery, and the revolutionary Solar Roof.

Musk calls it the “Triple Play.” Why does he focus on all three of these branches of the energy market? Because home batteries give electric vehicle owners a huge advantage. And if you want to go a step further, solar photovoltaics give home battery owners the upper hand. Keep reading, and you’ll see exactly why.

The growth of Tesla and the debut of new projects has been met by plenty of critics. Specifically, many of those present at the unveiling of Tesla’s new solar roof scoffed at the idea of a “car company” making roofing products. But this diversity of products has always been part of Elon Musk’s plan, beginning with the most recent merge.

Musk says that uniting Tesla with SolarCity has been part of his “Master Plan” to provide customers with a one-stop-shop for energy, storage, and consumption. In Musk’s words, SolarCity merging with Tesla would created “the world’s only vertically integrated sustainable energy company.” The deal allows Tesla appeal to his eco-conscious audience under one united brand.

But the Triple Threat isn’t appealing because of the eco-friendly advantages of its separate parts. It’s appealing because of the way those three parts work together.

Let’s start with electric vehicles, and home batteries.

The new Model S is a work of art. It’s arguably one of the safest sedans, not just in the electric car sphere, but the sedan world all together. The Model S can get you from 0 to 60 in under 3 second, and its new Autopilot capabilities take a lot of stress out of highway driving. The Model S even features a “Bio-Weapon Defense Mode,” where it will removes 99.97% of particle exhaust pollution from cabin air.

There’s just one part of the Model S that doesn’t fit with the eco-friendly, tech-forward vibe of the car: the part where you get home from work, and plug it in, sucking fossil-fuel generated electricity from the power grid, and often paying an arm and a leg for it.

With a home battery, you get to keep on living the clean energy dream… and save some cash at the same time.

This is made possible by time-of-use shifting. Time-of-use shifting is a simple, but game-changing method to charging your electric car. All it takes is understanding the way energy demand works, and how to manipulate it to your advantage. Most electric car owners charge their car in the evenings, when they return home from the day, and settle into their evening routine. Your routine likely involves some energy usage as well, if you choose to run your dishwasher or vacuum, catch up on some laundry, or flip on the TV. When you get home, your energy usage ramps up in a number of areas. Everyone’s does. That’s why the evening hours are what electric utilities call “peak demand” hours. The demand for electricity is higher in the evening than it is at any other time during the day. In some places, that means there are additional costs and fees associated with using electricity during this time period. It’s definitely when there’s a lower concentration of clean energy on the grid.

The good news is, you can do something about this. Home battery owners can charge up their batteries with cleaner, cheaper grid energy during the day, and use this energy in the evenings to charge their cars, and run their appliances. This is what time-of-use shifting is all about, and it’s one of the biggest advantages home batter owners have. You don’t have to rely on the grid when it’s most expensive, and least reliable. Instead, you can use you own, stored energy from earlier in the day. Or, you could tap into an even cleaner, cheaper, more reliable resource: the sun.

This is where solar photovoltaics come in.

Solar panels, like those featured in Tesla’s solar roof, can use sunshine to charge a home battery, instead of charging up from the grid. There are some big advantages to this.

  1. It’s clean. The sun pours down clean, renewable, sustainable energy every day, without any damage to the environment, or harmful bi-products. It’s as simple as that.

  2. It’s free. Unlike the power grid, the sun doesn’t charge you anything at all. As long as you set up your own solar panel system, the sun offers up its energy for free. All you have to do is take it… and store it.

  3. It’s reliable. The electrical power grid is still running on an antiquated system, and breaks down frequently due to natural disaster, or grid overload. The sun, however, hasn’t changed it’s delivery schedule… ever.

Home battery customer who also have solar panels also have an economic edge… especially if they are charging and recharging electric vehicles. Current utility rates run between 10 and 20 cents per kilowatt hour, depending on where you live, and when you’re using electricity. The other factor is how much you drive, which can vary a lot from person to person. Regardless of your mileage, electric vehicle owners end up spending hundreds, or even thousands a year on the electricity it takes to charge their vehicle. After the initial investment in solar panels and a home battery, this electricity could, instead, be free. For electric vehicle owners, a home battery could pay for itself in a matter of years.

It doesn’t matter whether or not your electronic vehicle is a Tesla, or if your home battery or solar panels are produced by the company either. Tesla’s “Triple Play” applies to anyone who wants to take advantage of time-of-use shifting to charge their electronic vehicle.

Swell believes that solar energy storage can be a key component to clean, sustainable, financially responsible living. If you’re curious about how a home battery can charge your car and save you money, contact a representative.