The world’s most hyped battery

Tesla’s Powerwall
USA (Palo Alto)

Silicon Valley talks about ‘moonshots’, the huge, ambitious projects that address the world’s problems such as cancer detection nanotechnology or getting to the moon. However, the Powerwall is a classic example of an ‘earthshot’. It tackles a pressing challenge here in the real world – feasibly.

In April 2015, ambitious Tesla billionaire Elon Musk unveiled the home battery that would fundamentally change the way the world uses energy. This was the Powerwall, a battery which charges using solar panels that store back-up energy to dispense at night, offering independence from a utility grid. Then Musk asked corporations and power companies to embrace its big brother battery block – the Powerpack. Musk says that 2 billion could power the world.

This is not just about batteries, but the move to a decentralised, renewable energy grid, where every home is its own power station. But more importantly, Tesla’s open patent policy encourages others to create their own versions, using similar technologies without having to pay Tesla. This openness has been extended to the design of a $5 billion battery-producing Gigafactory in Nevada, expected to be completed in 2017. By open sourcing patents, Musk hopes other companies will build gigafactories of their own.

It is within the power of humanity to change the way we produce power. And it’s worth an earthshot.

Powerwall was mapped by Alastair Parvin, co-founder of WikiHouse in his AtlasChart Top 5. Read his full FutureHero interview here.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (06 August 2015)

Project leader

Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla

Support the Atlas

We want the Atlas of the Future media platform and our event to be available to everybody, everywhere for free – always. Fancy helping us spread stories of hope and optimism to create a better tomorrow? For those able, we'd be grateful for any donation.

Multiple packs. Image: Alexis Georgeson

Photograph: Alexis Georgeson

Gigafactory. Photograph: Alexis Georgeson

Gigafactory. Photograph: Alexis Georgeson

Creative Commons License



  1. dot

    Love the moonshot earthshot analogies. Looks like Elon is the master of them all!

Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Get World-changing projects and news in your inbox weekly.