Tesla is already building a 5-million-square-foot battery factory. It’s not big enough.
That was the message from Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk this week while discussing, for the first time, the early response to his new product line of storage batteries designed for use in homes and businesses. The numbers are impressive. In the first few days of reservations since the battery announcement on April 30, Tesla took orders worth roughly $800 million in potential revenue, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg Business.
If those numbers were realized, it would be almost as much as the company took in from car sales in the entire first quarter of 2015. “It’s like crazy off-the-hook,” Musk said during an earnings presentation on Wednesday. “The sheer volume of demand here is just staggering.”
Before anyone gets too excited, it’s important to note the biggest caveat: reservations don’t necessarily convert to sales. That’s especially true for the home storage batteries sold under the name Powerwall. Anyone can go online and place a reservation, years in advance, with no money down and no commitment to buy. To reserve a Tesla Model X vehicle, by contrast, requires $5,000 up front. Tesla declined to clarify what constitutes a “reservation” for a business or utility-scale project.