Australia’s role as a key market for Tesla’s global push into home battery storage has been underscored this week, with the US company launching a major recruitment drive in Melbourne and Sydney.
The California-based developer of the much-hyped 7kWh Tesla Powerwall – the first shipment of which arrived on Australian shores last week – is advertising 15 jobs in roles ranging from business operations, to sales and engineering and field support. The push is not just for the Powerwall, which is designed for homes and business, but also for the utility-scale Powerpack.
As we reported on RenewEconomy late last year, Australia was pinpointed as one of the first targets for Tesla Energy’s residential lithium-ion battery storage system, because of its excellent solar resources, high electricity prices, and the changes to tariffs that will make self-consumption a priority for solar households.
“We are seeing very strong demand for Tesla Energy products globally, and particularly in Australia, Germany and South Africa,” founder and CEO Elon Musk said in 2015.
“To respond to these opportunities, we are growing our worldwide Tesla Energy sales team and are continuing to sign new business partnerships with utilities and energy companies.”
Indeed, when sales of the Powerwall’s kicked off in Australia in December last year, demand was reported to be huge. That initial roll-out started last week, with the first round of Powerwall installations at homes around the country kicking off on Friday with a family in north-west Sydney, with others following on close behind.
Tesla has named a handful of companies that can act as official re-sellers of the technology. New Zealand utility Vector is also moving into the Australian market, with a focus on battery storage, including the Tesla range.
This week’s recruitment drive makes it clear that Tesla is confident demand for its products will continue to grow. According to Heath Walker, a senior marketing manager for Tesla based in Melbourne, the new jobs aim to get the company to scale quickly, ensuring the right support for market.
The job offers also indicate a slight shift in Tesla’s focus from residential battery storage to the utility-scale market, with a number of the jobs on offer specific to the Powerpack.
Walker says that while jobs will concentrate on Melbourne and Sydney – due to Tesla having existing offices in both those locations – the company is looking for “the best talent”, wherever it may come from. One of the key characteristics the company is looking for in candidates is a commitment to help accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.