Tesla Powerwall is a home battery designed to take you off the grid

Electric car manufacturer Tesla today announced the Powerwall, a wall-mounted battery designed for residential use. Powerwall can be charged via electricity generated from solar panels, or through the grid when utility rates are low.

While the Powerwall can be used as a backup power supply in the case of cuts and outages, Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes it can be used to take the average home off the energy grid entirely.

"[Powerwall is] designed to work very well with solar systems right out of the box," said Musk. "It gives you piece of mind – if you have a cut in utilities, you'll always have power. You can go completely off grid."

Described as a "battery that just works", Powerwall is rated to 2kW of continuous power and 3.3kW of peak electricity draw – more than enough to meet the needs of common household appliances. Up to nine batteries can be stacked, and they can be installed indoor or outdoor.

While going off grid would require multiple batteries and a hefty investment in solar panels, Powerwall can reduce a user's energy bill by avoiding grid-usage during high rate utility periods. The battery can charge itself overnight when demand for electricity is low – and billed at a lower rate – and then power a house during typical high demand, peak rate periods.

Tesla will sell 10kWh and 7kWh Powerwalls for USD$3,500 and USD$3,000 respectively. U.S.-based customers are able to reserve a Powerwall through Tesla's website as of today, with the first units shipping in three to four months. The Powerwall will require professional installation.

Tesla will begin Australian Powerwall sales in the first quarter of 2016 according to Gizmodo. Australian pricing has yet to be confirmed.

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