I do not even pretend to really understand all the depth of Elon Musk's thinking about the energy storage with open source for Tesla's patents. Basically, after unveiling the PowerWall and PowerPack he has started Solar 2.0 race to the bottom for the price of the energy storage unit. Like with Solar, now Solar City is making money providing the solution with "dirt cheap" solar panels and attractive financing plans. PowerWall will become the part of this package opening huge market literally overnight. I was very impressed by the price $3.5k per 10 kWh PowerWall, but just wait until Gigafactory will come on line.
Now auto-makers can start to be really worried. ICE cars can become obsolete very fast. Elon Musk has just opened huge energy storage market combined with unprecedented growth in Solar installations all around the world. Tony Seba will be the good source to comprehend this tectonic shift. And while Tesla will be definitely making progress with utility storage, I think that his main goal to reach first will be the mass market for electric cars. It will happen with Gigafactory and $100 per kWh for lithium battery. Energy storage race can make this tipping point even more valid. China with its huge market and state-level incentives has already produced lithium materials leaders, who control lithium hydroxide market. Inside Tesla's PowerWall and PowerPack are lithium cells produced by Panasonic with more and more lithium hydroxide supplied from China. Now China is moving up the value chain with LG Chem, Foxconn, BYD and Boston Power building their own lithium Megafactories.
Elon Musk's genius is that by opening patents for energy storage he will employ huge capital and manufacturing base in China. Lithium cells will become commodity with copycats for his PowerWall and PowerPack. Ability to produce the lithium battery is one thing, power of the brand and packaged solution with Solar is another. I think that Chinese companies even here will succeed very fast. To produce Tesla Model S or coming Tesla Model III is completely different story. You do not really expect a lot from your PowerWall - just to be safe and functional. The battery for the electric car is completely different story, as your beloved car itself. This is where Tesla will rule for the long time and, maybe, Apple can actually get very fast traction after outsourcing power-train to Tesla and employing its own brand power and pile of cash.
Nobody knows what will actually happen, but Elon Musk with his bold decision has started another revolution these days. Without fear he has priced his energy storage at the very low range and started the race to the bottom for the price of the energy storage unit. His dream about mass market for electric cars now can be almost certain - at least on part of the battery cost.
In our own case we can be certain that security of lithium supply will be the most important thing at the very bottom of the vertically integrated businesses in this next industrial revolution - Elon Musk has shown the market today. We are building the one with our strategic partner Ganfeng Lithium and today Elon Musk has put our industry into the higher gear and this race is only the beginning. The chart below already confirms that this is happening.