Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Vector enters 'special relationship' with Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiling the company's Powerwall and Powerpack in California last Thursday. Photo: AP.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiling the company's Powerwall and Powerpack in California last Thursday. Photo: AP.

Vector has formed a partnership with Tesla to bring its revolutionary home and business batteries to New Zealand.

The utility company's bosses were at the Los Angeles launch of Tesla batteries, touted as being able to fundamentally change the world energy market.

Tesla, best known for its sporty electric cars, is increasingly active in alternative energy generation and storage.

Read more:
Tesla unveils 'home battery'
Shipley keen to leverage Boao appointment
Musk, cousins battle utilities to bring down costs of solar rooftops

It launched sleek new wall mounted batteries that are a fraction of the size of others designed to store home-generated solar or wind power.

Vector's chairman Michael Stiassny, chief executive Simon Mackenzie and group general manager of development Brian Ryan were invited as special guests to the launch event on Friday night where Tesla founder Elon Musk unveiled the new lithium-ion batteries. Prices will start at US$3500.

Musk told an excited audience the batteries could be game changing, like cellphones.

"What we'll see is something similar to what happened with cell phones versus land line where cell phones actually leap-frogged the land lines and there wasn't the need to put land lines in a lot of countries."

Vector has been working for some months to cement this "special relationship" with Tesla to provide the Tesla home battery to New Zealand.

"This is the start of a significant change in the energy industry. Tesla is the largest producer of batteries in the world, as well as the most cost effective, and this strong relationship will allow us to take it to the next level across the country," said Mackenzie.

Stiassny said that Vector had recognised some time ago that the energy business was destined for change.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiling a a suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities at the Tesla Design Studio. Photo: AFP.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiling a a suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities at the Tesla Design Studio. Photo: AFP.

Vector had been working with solar from its very early days, trailing the early photo voltaic arrays, using micro wind turbines and testing energy management systems, he said.

"We recognise that customers are at the forefront of wanting choices in the way they produce, use and manage their energy and we will be providing that choice.

"The Vector/Tesla partnership will revolutionise the way the customers consume energy along with real network benefits for Vector and its customers."

Mackenzie said that the potential benefits for customers in New Zealand were considerable.

"For some communities, communal renewables and storage systems make a great deal of sense.

"For those who don't own their own properties or who don't have the income to purchase such systems, the opportunities are opening up for them," he says.

The company said it would release the timing of when the Tesla battery will be available in the next couple of months.

Vector has sold around 300 solar units, most with large batteries.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 24 Jul 2016 14:05:20 Processing Time: 490ms