A seasoned Australian entrepreneur is taking the fight to Tesla’s Elon Musk by marketing an alternative to his popular Powerwall.
Tesla’s Powerwall battery lets consumers store solar panel energy and off-peak mains energy for later use, and is proving extremely popular. However, Mr Musk won’t have the sunny Australian market to himself.
Yesterday Simon Hackett, a well known entrepreneur and executive chairman of battery solutions firm Redflow said his company would next month launch its battery for home use. Delivery would be midyear.
Mr Hackett is no stranger to pioneering ventures. He was part of the team that created the Australian Academic and Research Network, the first emergence of the internet in Australia. In 1991, he founded internet service provider Internode and in 1997 licensed carrier Agile. He is a non-executive director of NBN.
And he’s a huge fan of Tesla cars. He owns five. “I think their batteries are brilliant in a car, I think our batteries are much better suited to a house.”
But he acknowledges that Tesla has given home battery storage its Apple moment. “What they’ve done is lit a fire under the public perception that storage is a pretty neat idea. When their announcements came out, our phones started ringing.”
He accepted that part of Powerwall’s lure was its appearance. “It actually does matter that this thing isn’t ugly and Tesla has certainly got that right,” Mr Hackett said.
But he said Tesla’s lithium-ion batteries would wear out the more they were discharged and recharged. This wasn’t the case with Redflow’s zinc bromine flow batteries which would last a decade.