Elon Musk vows to install ‘Powerpack’ batteries at some electric car charging points in California that have been cut off due to wildfires – but drivers will still have to pay
- Elon Musk says he will deploy Tesla’s batteries to California charging stations
- The move is intended to keep stations online amid planned blackouts
- Grids in California are being shut down amid severe weather and fear of wildfire
Elon Musk says Tesla will supplement charging stations downed by planned blackouts in California with the company’s ‘Powerpack’ battery technology.
According to a tweet sent out by the tech entrepreneur on Thursday, Tesla plans to ship the energy storage units – essentially large batteries capable of holding and delivering electricity – in ‘just a few weeks’ while Musk sorts out the permits for the move.
The units will only be shipped to the company’s supercharging stations, of which there are dozens in the the San Francisco Bay Area alone.
While the packs will work to keep stations up and running, motorists will still presumably have to pay to charge their vehicles at the station, same as before the blackouts.
Tesla will supply its charging stations in Northern California with its ‘Powerpack’ batteries in an attempt to keep them up and running amid planned blackouts (File photo)
Tesla says its stations cost between $0.13 to $0.26 per minute depending on the location.
‘All Tesla Supercharger stations in regions affected by California power outages will have Tesla Powerpacks within next few weeks. Just waiting on permits,’ he tweeted.
If delivered, those Powerpack would help to keep charging stations in California online amid widespread utility shutdowns in California that could impact 800,000 homes.
Northern California’s biggest energy utility, PG&E, has begun to cut shut down grids in response to inclement weather they fear could spark devastating wildfires similar to those witnessed throughout the last several years.
Tesla has a little more than 1,600 super charging stations across America and dozens in the Bay area alone (Bay Area map pictured above)
Malfunctioning equipment has been linked to major disasters like last year’s Camp Fire that scorched swaths of the state and killed 85 people.
Musk also mentioned that the company is working to outfit its charging stations with solar power so that they can remain live even when facing utility issues.
‘Also adding Tesla Solar to our Supercharger stations as fast as possible. Goal is 24/7 clean power with no blackouts,’ Musk tweeted.
The promise by Musk comes after Tesla owners were given a waning on Tuesday via their cars’ computer system and corresponding app to charge vehicles prior to the planned blackouts.