By Don Weidner —

Elon held a live media event in Hawthorne, CA this evening to announce a major new product — the Tesla Powerwall. It is a surprisingly compact, wall-mounted battery that can go inside or outside your home.

Alone, it takes the place of an automatic backup generator, ensuring you have uninterrupted power during an outage. The real beauty, though, is its integration with solar. With solar panels on your roof, you can effectively run on live solar power during the day and battery-stored solar power all night.  Take that, old school fossil fuel monopolies.

Since I study Tesla, I knew that an announcement regarding batteries for the home was coming. However, every analyst I read expected the home battery to be a gigantic, unsightly thing that sat in your yard and cost over $10,000. Instead, Elon showed us a gorgeous, svelte, silent battery that can be reserved today for $3,500 at Tesla Energy.

This is an incredible product, but did it change the world? Maybe not. But this did:
Commercial grade Tesla Power Packs with open patents! Elon explained that the world requires 90,000gWh of energy and that Tesla Power Packs could effectively provide that. It would take 2 billion of them, but he’s used to doing things in billions. It’s not unachievable, and it is the best way forward, he said. Production this year will occur in their Fremont factory, and next year in the Gigafactory in Nevada. With open patents, Elon is showing that he values humankind’s progress more than profit.

He founded PayPal, the first serious online bank, and sold it for over $1 billion. His car company makes the safest, quickest sedan in the world. His space company makes the most accomplished privately funded rockets. His solar company is the largest installer and most efficient producer in the United States.

Yet, tonight, Elon changed the world.  Again.

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