Tesla’s second generation Powerwall is set to enter production imminently after the company cleared a backlog of orders for products that used the same internal battery cell. The $5,500 battery is designed to store energy captured from solar panels, so homes and small businesses can keep the lights on even when the sun stops shining.
A new report published by Electrek on Friday claims that a large number of orders for Tesla’s Powerpack 2, a similar product designed for commercial clients that started shipping last September, caused Powerwall production to get pushed back. The two products, along with the upcoming Model 3 car, all use the same battery cell.
Although the product was initially announced in November with a January delivery date, Powerwall 2 deliveries are now expected to start in the next few weeks, with the company’s website stating that installations will begin in the United States in February.
Both products tie into CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a green energy future. Musk has described a home of the future, with a Tesla car in the garage, solar panels on the roof, and a Powerwall 2 tying the whole thing together. The company has even designed solar roof tiles that look just like ordinary tiles:
Tesla is dead serious about making this dream happen. The company merged with SolarCity in November, another venture of Musk’s, combining the two companies’ resources in energy management.
The Powerwall’s delay may seem like a hiccup on this journey, but it’s to do with the Powerpack, geared at commercial buyers, that’s pushing its own green revolution in the business space. Last year, Tesla gave its clients the choice between early deployment with first generation Powerpacks, or wait longer for the second generation. A number chose to wait for the newer model, but as the product uses the same “2170 cell” lithium-ion batteries as the Powerwall, that had a knock-on effect for Powerwall reservations.
The new cell is being produced at Tesla’s Gigafactory. Musk claims that when it’s completed, the factory will be able to produce cells “faster than bullets from a machine gun.” The finished areas of the incomplete factory started producing a limited number of cells in January, but the reduced capacity coupled with the Powerpack order backlog led to a bottleneck of orders.
Inverse has reached out to Tesla to comment on the Powerwall’s status.
Although the bottleneck of Powerpack orders is now clear, it may still take a while for Powerwalls to start arriving in consumers’ hands. The first Powerwall, which required no deposit, received over 38,000 reservations before its 2015 launch. The latest model, which this time requires a $500 deposit, is said to have a similar number of reservations, according to the report. Despite the deposit requirement, a lot of people want to get their Powerwalls as soon as possible.