Tesla’s ‘Tiny House’ roadshow demystifies its energy tech

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Renewable energy is good for the planet, but it can be great for consumers — depending on your location, you can actually make a profit using solar panels and backup battery storage. Those benefits can be hard for consumers to grok, however, so Tesla has launched the “Tiny House” tour in Australia with all of its latest technology in tow (literally).

“Powered by 100 percent renewable energy via a 2 kW solar system and Powerwall, Tiny House … can calculate how your home can generate clean energy from the sun using solar panels, storing it in the Powerall to use through the day and night,” Tesla said in a press release, “which can all be monitored and controlled by the Tesla app.”

The two tonne (2.2 ton) structure is being towed around by a Tesla Model X and is built from “locally sourced, chemical-free, sustainable timber.” It’s powered by a 2kW, 6-panel system that’s backed up by a $5,500 Powerwall.

Tesla’s Tiny House is currently in Melbourne, Australia, and will next go to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. Interestingly, the company doesn’t yet offer solar panels in Australia (they’re only available in the US and Mexico), even though it has sold Powerwalls there for a while now. That’s expected to change once Tesla completes its acquisition of Solar City, however.

It’s also doing the world’s largest battery installation, a 100 megawatt backup of the Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia. Musk famously said Tesla would complete the installation or it will be free.

The Powerwall systems have won over some consumers in the nation. One told Electrek that a $16,000 solar installation, including the original Tesla PowerWall, has reduced his electric bill by 90 percent to just 59 cents a day. “When the sun goes down, I’ve still got peak power from the battery.” So far, the tour is limited to Australia, but it would make a lot of sense for Tesla to offer it elsewhere.