Powervault, a London company, recently raised £700,000 (over $1,000,000) from a CrowdCube campaign in under 4 days. £200,000 ($315,000) came from the London Co-Investment fund and an additional £100,000 ($157,000) from Future Matters. The company intends to compete head to head with the Tesla Powerwall and become the dominant player in the UK home energy storage market.
The Powervault claims to offer several advantages compared to the Powerwall. This self-contained system includes the battery, charger, inverter, and control unit. The company says it is compatible with all solar photovoltaic systems and requires no extra equipment or significant rewiring of the home. It can be installed by an electrician in an hour.
There are two versions of the Powervault available. The 2 kWh model costs about $3,000, including installation, and the 4 kWh model costs about $4,500.
By contrast, the Tesla product does not include the inverter, which provides the essential interface between the electricity generated by a solar system, the electricity coming into the home, and the residential wiring (though, the reasoning is that solar power systems themselves have the inverters needed to connect with the Powerwall). The Tesla product is also not compatible with all solar systems and requires far more time and expertise to install.
Powervault managing director Joe Warren said:
This is a state-of-the-art, British designed product which will cut homeowners’ electricity bills, increase their energy security and help the UK cut carbon emissions. We’re already making sales and we aim to be a household name in five years, making a significant impact with products in 50,000 homes around the country.
Tesla is raising awareness of home energy storage, exciting potential customers and helping to create a market. Their entry into the market demonstrates the scale of the business opportunity, with battery costs falling and up to two million UK homes forecast to have solar panels by 2020. The Powervault system has been designed specifically to meet the needs of British homeowners and is available today.
Powervault will use its new funding to implement a redesign expected to cut its manufacturing costs by 20% It will also use the money to develop a lithium-ion version of the product and to establish new sales channels. The company forecasts sales of its home energy storage systems to reach 10,000 in three years and 50,000 within five years. By 2020, it expects retail prices for its entry-level product to fall to less than $1,500.
We have found no word on cycle life or efficiency of the Powervault.