There are only seven shopping days until Christmas and we're less than two weeks away from the New Year. So where are those battery-swapping stations Tesla promised? Or its big push into the energy storage biz? Didn't we hear something about the Roadster being upgraded? Are we seeing a pattern here?
Cut through the hype and the accolades and the endless profiles couching Elon Musk as Tony Stark, and you're met with a long string of Tesla over-promising, under-delivering, or delivering late. From the first Roadster to the delayed and initially buggy Model S to the even more delayed Model X, Tesla – and Musk, in particular – err on the side of promotion and spectacle rather than reality. And it's getting tiresome.
Back in the September of 2012, Tesla announced its Supercharger network, which it's expanded across the country to let Model S owners charge up at no cost (assuming they take a circuitous route). At the time, Tesla touted its partnership with SolarCity – headed up by Musk's cousin – saying:
Each solar power system is designed to generate more energy from the sun over the course of a year than is consumed by Tesla vehicles using the Supercharger. This results in a slight net positive transfer of sunlight generated power back to the electricity grid.
Two years in and Tesla has massively expanded its Supercharger network across the country and around the world. There are 140 stations in the U.S., over 100 in Europe, and more than 40 in the Asia Pacific region. In the second half of the year Tesla was opening on average one station a day.
It's impressive. But only two of those sites are powered by solar, and according to Tesla, none of it is being sent back into the grid.
Fast forward to Tesla's 2013 Q4 earnings statement and we hear about plans "to start selling stationary energy storage products for use in homes, commercial sites, and utilities" to provide back-up power and ease demand during peak hours.
The focus was originally set on commercial systems and the plan was to "ramp sales of these products in 2014." Tesla claims it will have produced 3 GWh worth of stationary energy storage systems by the end of the year and touts "major partners from utilities to school districts, small businesses and big box stores." But it hasn't provided a number of how many units have been sold, delivered, or installed, and it's now saying residential units will begin "rolling out in mid-2015."
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