How Solar Energy Storage Could Make Tesla Much More Than an Automaker Essay

484 WordsJul 30, 20142 Pages
How lucrative could the solar energy storage business be for Tesla? Almost as lucrative as selling cars. + That’s according to Morgan Stanley, which this week placed a figure – $2 billion—on how much it thinks Tesla could make in annual revenue from solar energy storage. That’s assuming that its “gigafactory”—a massive lithium-ion battery production facility, which is currently still in the planning stages—is up and running by the end of the decade. + To put that number into context, Tesla’s annual revenue last year, when it sold about 22,000 vehicles, was…$2.01 billion. Of course, this can be expected to be much higher by the time the gigafactory is completed, but the comparison still reinforces the idea that Tesla is much more than just simply an automaker. The factory, currently slated for completion in 2020, has reportedly signed up Japanese industrial giant Panasonic as a partner. + Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley received some stinging criticism when it released some fairly ebullient research on Tesla (calling it “arguably the most important auto company in the world). That helped lift the electric car maker’s share price just days before it raised $1.6 billion in fresh capital to help fund the gigafactory. The fundraising round was underwritten in part by none other than Morgan Stanley. + The central thrust of the bank’s thesis was (as I put it) that Tesla’s most disruptive product might not actually be its cars, but its batteries. Analysts, and not just those from Morgan Stanley, think that once Tesla’s gigafactory is producing to scale, those batteries could be used to power everything from drones to consumer electronics devices. + But aside from cars, the most plausible use case remains solar power storage, whereby a house could capture solar energy through a panel installed on its roof—perhaps even one made by Solar City, one of Musk’s other

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