Tesla Powerwall Price In Australia Shifts Into Ludicrous Mode

Tesla Powerwall price rise - Australia

The cost of a Tesla Powerwall home battery system has been out of reach for many Australian solar power system owners – and that looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

The Powerwall (2) has been available in Australia for more than 5 years. Back around February 2017, you could get a Tesla Powerwall installed for under 10k. Well, for a very short time until Tesla figured out it had made a mistake. But even then it was under 11k installed for around a year.

There have been at least nine pricing changes on the battery and supporting hardware since, and only two of them reductions.

Tesla stopped publishing prices on its Australian web site a while back, and little wonder given the way the cost of Powerwall has been moving. Industry sources tell us a Tesla Powerwall costs around $16,500 – $17,000 currently. That’s just for the battery system and Tesla Gateway. Including installation, it will set you back around $19,000 for a fairly straightforward install and more if additional switchboard work is required.

It’s a big commitment that will significantly add to battery payback.

Historical Powerwall Price Movements

Below are some of the Australian pricing movements on Powerwall we’ve been tracking over the years. Note the prices are for the battery and supporting hardware only.

  • February 2017 (est.): $9,000
  • February 2018: $9,600
  • October 2018: $12,350
  • July 2019: $11,700
  • October 2020: $12,500
  • February 2021: $13,300
  • May 2021: $12,750
  • March 2022: $13,700
  • May 2022: $14,650
  • October 2022: $16,500

Or, in a prettier format:

Powerwall price history - Australia

Australians who installed a Powerwall in the early days must be feeling pretty happy with themselves; particularly if they were able to score some sort of subsidy to boot.

Popular Battery Choice Among Installers

In this year’s SolarQuotes Installers’ Choice Awards, Tesla Powerwall was considered the best solar battery in 2022 in both the “money no object” and “budget” categories. But that was before the last three price rises.

It scored the prime spot in the “budget” category because it seems many installers couldn’t bear the thought of installing anything else. That’s all well and good, but the problem for Australians who aren’t fortunate enough to be in the “money no object” bracket is they really can’t bear the cost.

On the consumer side of things; whether a Powerwall is worth it now depends on what’s important in the eye of the beholder (buyer). It’s not about payback for everyone. Some rate having backup power and being able to charge from their solar panels in the event of a blackout pretty important; other folks just like fiddling with the latest tech. Others just love Tesla gear for whatever reasons.

But Tesla isn’t the only show in town. There are Powerwall alternatives available in Australia and many are listed on the SQ solar battery comparison table. SolarQuotes’ home battery experts will be taking an in-depth look into more of these in the time ahead; so stay tuned by signing up for our weekly newsletter.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Do you have comparisons with other countires how the prices are going?
    As a standalone the prices going up (albeit a serious problem!!!) will not show whether we are worse/better off than other countries …

  2. We installed a Powerwall 2 20 months ago and we are very pleased with it.

    • Fair points I definitely made mistakes in my haste ? some of the capital maybe able to be borrowed at 0% depending on state and location but yeah batteries probably don’t make sense in nowadays coin. The cost of borrowing has gone up as well.

      In a lot of cases wether it bev or house battery I think people count their solar as paying for it. You always hear my Tesla costs nothing to run but in actual fact they forgo feed-in tariff charging it which to me is still a cost.

      We have two powerwalls but we have a far larger system and consumption. $$ wasn’t so much of a concern when we installed them, I just love all the material techy things and waste money where others would sink it into their hotrod etc. With the batteries we can run the swim spa without guilt ??? or at least that is what we tell ourselves. Have had our system a little while now though, couldn’t imagine buying two of them now.

  3. The irony is the new Powerwalls use LFP which is the same chemistry in the prismatic cells that have been available to the public for a decade and are now 1/3 the price of an equivalent Powerwall.

    The equipment to diy has made it so much easier than even 3 years ago when I did it that it is a fool and his money kind of story to buy from battery companies.

    19 grand is ridiculous, I could build a 30kw battery/ 10kw solar with inverter and charger with some change for that money.

  4. Price is a balance between supply and demand. If Australians are ready to buy all batteries Tesla have in stock at this price, then there is no reason to lower prices. If demand goes up, then prices should go up as well. This is a law of the market.
    If Tesla battery is “the best” (whatever it means), then it should have the highest price. Australians are richest people in the world (according to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report), they are happy to pay that price.
    Also, AUD exchange rate is so low now – any import should be very expensive.

  5. Hi there, I got a 3.5kw system and a Tesla power wall in 2017.
    My power bills was around $600 per 3 months, which would be around $1,200 in today’s power bill.
    If you work out the cost over 10 years, it’s a no brainer
    $$1,200 X 4 = $4,800 (year)
    $4,800 X 10 = $48,000 over ten years.
    My solar panel and power wall was $18,000.
    My power for the year is now around $200 and charging my Tesla model 3.
    I have only had it for 5 years now and it has already paid for itself and I have backup in a power outage, it is a no brainer

    • @Shayne, sorry but this is incorrect logic. You should compare your setup with solar only – without Tesla battery. Financial benefits would be better than with battery. It’s a no brainer – Tesla battery right now is not a value for money and it would not repay itself.

      We can talk about some other benefits of Tesla battery beyond savings, e.g. support in blackouts but I guess that required hardware was not available in 2017.

      Tesla battery is a toy for rich people who can afford to buy Tesla car. And it is priced accordingly.

      • I am making substantial savings with the Tesla Powerwall 2 because we are no longer using gas for heating.

      • The feed in tariffs have also decreased while energy costs go up so I imagine Shane’s battery is pulling it’s own weight a bit more and adding value to his investment return that would have otherwise been lost.

      • Whilst I appreciate the $$ issue – I have been a single mum for most of my career and just got by – my kids are now grown and I have 50-65 years of age to pay off mortgage and get super together.

        I just just invested $32k in solar + battery – top end – sunpower panels and battery. and I have futureproofed for when I get an EV in 5 years time.

        I am a solar and energy efficiency professional so have done payback, NPV calcs for 10 years.

        With a 10% increase in electricity per year – my payback is 13 years. However, this one action reduces my carbon footprint by 50%. So that is part of my reason for ‘investing.

        If I manage the battery well – use the tips to make it last longer, and electricity continues to go up by 18% this year or 30% next year – payback period comes in under 10 years for both solar + battery. Battery can last 10,12 or 15 years – will have to wait and see. Panels have 40 year warranty.

        To me – this is an ‘investment no brainer’. Add to the power outage and overall energy security – it is a good use of one’s resources – and I have very limited resources! 🙂

        No overseas holidays for me – unless I want to work longer and harder.

        It’s all about choices.

        • Did you include a cost of funds on that $32k of capital? $32k today is not equivalent to $32k over 15 years.

          Can you share your calculations?

    • This is the sort of logic you get around battery purchases. Hand waves instead of simple arithmetic.
      A powerwall stores 12kWh, even if his energy cost was a whopping 40c a kWh and his cost of charging was zero (which seems unlikely since his measly 3.5kW solar would be hard pressed charging it fully each day while providing for power for the house during the day and ignoring any lost feedin tariffs). But let’s do this best case calculation.

      12x.4×365=1752.

      That’s the absolute most it can be saving you per year, in reality it will be covering lots of shoulder and off peak periods that I pay 13c and 20c and the feedin tariff is 7c, so actual per kWh “savings” are in the 6c to 14c range, vastly reducing this saving.

      Note that the cost of an integrated powerwall is now around $18k, and at a reasonable cost of funds would need to save $900, just to start paying its costs down, which wouldn’t happen for decades, long after it needed replacing.

      Add to that the fact that daily full cycling would nuke the battery before the warranty expires. You need to do full cycling of the above “savings” fall in proportion to how little you use of the battery.

      • Let’s assume 3.5kw is his inverter but he has 5kw panels, I’m going to give him 20kwh per day and using your 12kwh (even though the battery has 13.5kwh usable which is not full cycling to my understanding as Tesla won’t let you).
        Feed-in tariffs can be upgraded to a better plan since you don’t care about peak pricing so the battery gives you say 5c/kWh extra feed-in (.06*(20-12)*365=$175pa)
        So to get $16000 paid off in 10 years we need..
        ((((16000/10)-175)/365)/12)=33c difference between your 7c feed-in and your average supply charge when you are using your battery. Feed-in may come down and power prices will go up making things better than current prices.

        If power costs double over the next 10 years then it still wouldn’t work but if they double in say 5 and keep going up then the 16k would pay for itself in 10 and profit afterwards. But yes it’s a hard sell currently with the exchange rate? pricing. ?

        Also batteries are not as “green” as people think. Until we have a fully green day time grid all your doing is not feeding green energy into the grid resulting in someone else using Dino juice that would have used your green solar. It has no net effect on the overall carbon impact just changes the time in which the fossil fuels are used.

        • Wish I could edit comments. Extra 6c per kWh feed-in as per calculation .. you can get better or worse depending on provider currently.

        • Harry from syd says

          Many assumptions there. He said 3.5kW and his install price including Powerwall is low enough to hold him to his word rather than lifting it by 40%. I have 16kW on my roof of the latest LG panels with microinverters and get around 15kW peak, so once again your numbers are optimistic.
          You also assume that his entire (inflated) production figure is used to charge the battery and the rest earning a feed in tariff, apparently he doesn’t use any of it during the day. You are assuming that he uses his entire 12kW storage each day, if he doesn’t the payback time blows out proportionately.

          And of course you have $0 cost of capital. Totally unrealistic. Borrowing costs money and so does using cash as the value depreciates over time and the opportunity cost (ie. something else you could have bought) has a value. If the person has a home loan then the $16k could have repaid the principal so you’d need to factor the interest rate as a cost.

        • Harry from syd says

          The 12kWh number is based on the 90% round trip efficiency of the Powerwall. If you want to use the full 13.5kW figure, you’ll have to factor 15kWh to charge it each day. Apologies, about shortcuts in explanation.

    • Harry fom Syd says

      I’m intrigued by how you arrive at your figures.

      “I got a 3.5kw system and a Tesla power wall in 2017.”

      That seems like a very small solar installation.
      Typically you would expect to get around 4-5x the raw kW in terms of kWh across a sunny day (depending on location and any shadowing).

      So for a 3.5kW system, that would be 14 to 17.5 kWh a day.

      At 14kWh it would be hard pressed filling your Powerwall on a daily basis inclusive of losses. At 17.5kW it would it barely be replacing any of your usage beyond wha the Powerwall was used for.

      “My power bills was around $600 per 3 months, which would be around $1,200 in today’s power bill.”

      It would be best if you actually told us what your average daily use was at the time of the purchase. Assuming around a 90c per day connection fee, that’s $510 of energy per quarter, or $5.60 for energy per day.

      Assuming an average of 20c per kWh, that would be around 28kWh of energy per day, at 30c around 18kWh.

      I get power at around 14c per kWh off-peak, 21 shoulder and 32c peak today. So your assumption about a doubling of cost appears rather high.

      If we assume the larger daily usage of 28kWh and a price of 40c kWh (which is very expensive)
      your maximum bill will be $4088 for power. Shopping around would bring prices more in line with what I get (roughly half that).

      “If you work out the cost over 10 years, it’s a no brainer
      $$1,200 X 4 = $4,800 (year)
      $4,800 X 10 = $48,000 over ten years.
      My solar panel and power wall was $18,000.”

      The cost of capital for that $18000 is around $900 a year, you have to make that up first. Then you start paying down the capital (think of it like you got a bank loan to buy it).

      A powerwall full useful capacity is 13.5kWh, though daily full cycling isn’t recommended.

      So the most it could save you is $1971/year if your power costs 40c a kWh and you ignore lost feed in – plus it would use most of your solar generation.
      Of course if you rarely fully use the stored power it’s much worse.

      • We have a house located in an inner suburban area of Melbourne. The council limited our installation to 3.5Kw of panels. Quite a common occurrence. We didn’t install a battery because it didn’t make good economic sense.
        However at the farm in north eastern Victoria we had 12Kw installed, but that was the limit and will look at the viability of replacing the LPG backup generator with a battery in the future.

        Batteries are a big initial outlay with potential. Potential needs to become reality before we pull the expensive trigger.

  6. When talking about payback period, apparently you’ve not considered the effective life span of the Tesla battery. If the effective life of the battery is 8-10 years even if the cost of battery is $10k, cost of battery will never be paid back. Please advise if my understanding is correct.

    • Where do you get 8-10 years? Warranty is currently 70% capacity 10 years after install I would expect that’d be a conservative evaluation to mitigate against claims. But even that surely it’s not going to degrade all of a sudden in the 11th year?

  7. Andrewbgrey says

    So it’s tracking the price of lithium etc, no surprises here. Expect anything using lithium technology to increase in price

    • Raw material price went up, this is true. However, technology has improved significantly. Overall price could go down. Price of raw materials has very little connection with the price of the final product.

      Seven years ago I built my off-grid system. At that time, I got 20kWh of lithium cells plus BMS for $11K. This year I upgraded my system by adding 30kWh of lithium batteries (4 server-rack units, each with its own BMS). That cost me $9K.

      More cells and more BMSs for less money. We should take in consideration AUD exchange rate that was higher seven years ago. So, today USD price would be much lower than seven years ago.

    • Geoff Miell says

      Andrewbgrey,
      Expect anything using lithium technology to increase in price

      Expect anything relying on coal, fossil gas and diesel fuels to increase in price.
      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/more-electricity-price-hikes/#comment-1501135

      ICYMI, Dr Saul Griffith was on ABC TV’s 7:30 programme last night (Oct 12) with some interesting and provocative comments. The transcript included:

      SAUL GRIFFITH: So I spent the last two years working on climate policy for the Biden administration through an organisation called Rewiring America.

      We prosecuted the macroeconomic argument in America that it is anti-inflationary to electrify everything including all the vehicles in all the houses. That is because fossil fuels for the last 30 years, increases and increases and it literally defines inflation.

      But if you buy solar today and you buy an electric car today and you finance them, the price remains constant for the next 20 years for the life of those machines. That is literally anti-inflationary.

      That led to creating about $140 billion in tax incentives, rebates, subsidies and other incentives for every American household to electrify all of its vehicles, its hot water heating systems, its space heating systems, even its kitchen and cooking systems and you can project that by 2030 that will save every American household $2,000 to $3,000 a year.

      SAUL GRIFFITH: But I’m giving you the idea. So those three things were critical to give us this extraordinarily cheap solar.

      So if you do the same modelling for Australia that we do for the US, Australian households, if they had all electric vehicles in their driveway, electric water heater, electric space heating, electric kitchens, they would be saving closer to $5,000 a year by 2030 and they would be saving money today if we get them there.

      https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/dr-saul-griffith-%E2%80%93-decarbonisation-for-australia/14082550

    • Smokin Paul says

      It’s about supply and demand. So far materials used to make batteries were not being sourced from suppliers dedicated to the EV car industry. As new dedicated EV sources come online prices will drop dramatically.

  8. Careful, where you have them installed… I’ve come across 3 battery units, that have failed. Due to heat stress or over-temp ( mounted in a enclosed area without cooling ) … Not very applicable for all applications & in the northwest of W.A.

  9. You would have to replace the Tesla Powerwall 2 twice to match Zenaji’s 22,000-cycle warranty – nor can the Powerwall 2 compete with Zenaji on price per kWh of storage – Tesla about 21c and Zenaji at less than 7c, or depth of discharge, safety, recyclability etc etc

    It would be great to see a price comparison update with this information about Tesla pricing.

    Great article thank you

    • Just looked into the Zenaji Aeon LTO Battery, Regular price $3,995.00 which is 1.93KW and inverter sold separately
      Tesla power wall come with 13.5KW and bidirectional 5.5kw inverter for $15,000
      you would need 7 Aeon batteries, cost is $27,965 plus a inverter and a electrician maybe $33,000,
      Tesla would be half price, plus all the other feature you get.
      Please tell me I am wrong

      • You did not consider time – lifespan for each battery.

        LTO batteries are cool but too expensive. No one needs home battery with 22,000 cycles – it is 60 years! Your home, wires, panels, nothing will live that long. Manufacturing company would not live that long, so this warranty is useless.

  10. Jay Somasundaram says

    Subsiding electric cars is wasting public money. Instead, the government should be investing in building a domestic electric battery manufacturing industry. It is absurd that home batteries cost so much compared to car batteries. Subsidising electric cars simply sends the money overseas. We will get EVs once the prices fall. Then, it is home batteries that can charge the cars and really save on greenhouse gases.

  11. Allan Hamblin says

    I’m hoping SQ will keep an eye on EV’s that will ALLOW vehicle to home supply at night, and let us know which, when & what kWh involved.
    One thing I haven’t seen addressed is heating of EV batteries when charging. Home batteries evidently NEED a cool place. I wont be installing home batteries, but an EV – maybe. As a low user nothing will be economically right, but – well – join the flow!

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