Tesla moved last week to discontinue deliveries of the direct current (DC) version of its Powerwall 2 home battery to customers outside the United States.
The DC device carried the same $5,000 price tag as an alternating current (AC) unit with built-in inverter, and was only compatible with a limited number of external inverters. The company now says it’s holding back the DC Powerwall to give customers “greater flexibility”.
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“Tesla’s introduction of its Powerwall home battery in 2015 brought residential storage into the mainstream,” UtilityDive recalls. It released new versions of the residential Powerwall and its utility-scale Powerpack system last year, and “early sales showed an optimistic company, with SEC filings revealing Tesla sold 168.5 MWh of batteries to residential solar installer SolarCity in early 2016—more than twice the entire U.S. behind-the-meter storage market in the previous year.”
But Tesla withdrew its 10-kilowatt Powerwall last March, “citing difficulties with the economics of a storage option designed for self-consumption,” and now it’s limiting the DC Powerwall 2 to the U.S. market. The company said the AC version “includes a Tesla built-in inverter, offering customers the greatest value, flexibility, and ease of installation, regardless of whether they’re pairing Powerwall with new solar, retrofitting, or using the Powerwall for backup.”