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Technology & Innovation

Tesla’s Worst-Kept Secret Has Become Power Companies’ Worst Nightmare

As predicted, last night Elon Musk introduced a suite of Tesla batteries for homes and businesses. The technology is exciting now; it could be a game changer in the future.

We’ve been riding the Tesla beat pretty hard this past month ever since CEO (and Big Think expert) Elon Musk teased at the end of March that something big was going to go down in Hawthorne, California:

Major new Tesla product line — not a car — will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2015

Speculation ran rampant but it didn't take long for the industry's worst-kept secret to become apparent: Tesla isn't a car company; it's a battery company. Musk affirmed our suspicions last night:

Our updated story from last night has all the specifics on what Musk talked about, so if you're looking for the tl;dr version, go ahead and check that out.

What's probably most interesting here isn't that Tesla is moving beyond cars, but that Musk is once again tackling an obstacle to global progress. We're not such fanboys to assume Musk isn't incentivized by money and glory and all the other things that typically drive innovation. There is something to be said, though, about how his entrepreneurial decisions revolve around finding solutions to key human problems. SpaceX sought to revolutionize space exploration. Tesla Motors sought to provide a solution to vehicles running on fossil fuels. Now Tesla Energy seeks to spark "a fundamental transformation of how the world works, about how energy [is used] across Earth."

There are two key transformations we should hope for and anticipate:

First, as Vivek Wadhwa and Brad Templeton have both said on this site over the past year, the limitations of battery power are keeping us from developing the fancy toys we really want.