Tesla hikes price of Powerwall home battery, again, in Australia

Tesla has raised the retail price of the Powerwall 2 for the second time in four months, as demand for the 13.5 kWh home battery energy storage system continues to outstrip supply.

According to the Tesla Australia website, the price of a Powerwall 2 battery is now $A13,300, including goods and services tax, but not including the cost of installation.

The $A800 price hike is the second since October 2020, when the cost of the home battery was raised from $A11,700 to $A12,500.

As was the case in October, the Australian pricing move has followed a similar move in the US, where the cost of the Powerwall 2 was boosted by $US500 in mid-January to $US7,500 (not including installation), as reported by Electrek.

The price rises – both in Tesla’s home market of the US and here in Australia – have come without formal announcement or any efforts at explanation (One Step has inquired). That said, it is safe to assume the company’s previously stated difficulties in meeting soaring global battery demand – for both energy storage and for electric vehicles – are still the main culprit.

As RenewEconomy reported at around the same as the first Powerwall price hike, Tesla has been experiencing a huge increase in demand for its energy storage products – both at grid scale and in the home – while also lamenting a lack of battery cells that is causing backlogs of energy storage orders and even inhibiting the roll out of some of its electric vehicles.

In its Q3 earnings call in October of last year, Tesla reported backlogs in its battery storage products, particularly for Powerwalls, and CEO Elon Musk said that the roll-out of the Tesla Semi, the electric truck, which would have very big batteries – up to 1MWh, compared to 50kWh for the Model 3 SR+ – was also being held up.

“We just need more cells,” Musk had lamented, summing up a problem that global analyst group Morgan Stanley has been predicting could get worse before it gets better, and could spread to EV makers beyond Tesla.

“There may be cost inflation and/or volume shortfalls vs. many of the more aggressive EV forecasts in the market today,” noted Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas. “Greater innovation may be needed to increase battery yield from factories, yield in the car, greater energy density and other innovation.”

Then again, perhaps we can blame Jeffries analyst, Phillippe Houchois, who in the Q&A following Tesla’s Q3 results call suggested that “given the savings” generated by the successful use of Tesla home batteries to help stabilise Australia’s grid, “your hardware could have been sold at a higher price.”

According to Energy Storage News, Musk responded to this point by commenting that the analyst was “probably right about that.”

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