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Tesla’s Renewable Energy Vision—Big Benefits Without Major Lifestyle Changes

Tesla’s fancy cars generate much of the company’s revenue, while its solar energy products are decidedly less flashy.
July 16, 2019, 5am PDT | Camille Fink
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Dave Pinter

Elizabeth Lopatto headed to Byron Bay, Australia, to stay in a Tesla Destination, a mansion fully outfitted with high-tech renewable energy features, and to explore Tesla’s move into the residential solar sector.

"Living in Tesla’s imagined future, most of the activities of my life weren’t especially changed by switching the source from which the house drew energy. The only thing that might have qualified as a difference was me checking the Tesla app to see what was going on with my energy usage," she notes.

In South Australia, Lopatto also talked to residents using solar panels and Tesla Powerwall battery storage units. The government funded the systems, which were linked to create virtual power plants, for the mostly low-income residents. She describes a similar theme here about the easy shift to solar power facilitated by the Tesla products, where a blackout or bad weather has little effect and the only thing a resident might notice is a cheaper energy bill. 

"This story is about the virtue of being boring, a perhaps underappreciated thing in our day and age. This is a story about not changing your life and how much better that can make it. That’s what Tesla is selling in terms of renewable energy: your life, but with fewer fossil fuels. Your house, powered by solar," writes Lopatto.

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Published on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in The Verge
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