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GM wants to take on Tesla’s Powerwall with new Ultium energy products, but can it?

Published Jun 28th, 2023 10:41AM EDT
GM Ultium home energy storage
Image: GM

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GM isn’t just competing with Tesla in the electric vehicle market — it wants to take on the company when it comes to home energy storage as well.

In a press release, the company announced its first set of home energy storage solutions that are targeted at residential customers who want to install battery-powered energy storage to keep their home powered in case of emergencies. There will be three solutions at launch — some that work with the company’s EVs and one that works standalone.

The first offering, called the Ultium Home V2H Bundle, is designed specifically for customers who just want the capability to use their car’s battery to power their home in the case of an emergency. The Ultium Home Energy Storage Bundle is made for the exact opposite — customers who just want stationary storage but don’t need an EV as a power option.

Then, of course, there’s the Ultium Home Energy System, which gives customers everything — both the ability to power their home from their EV and the ability to store additional energy for use when they don’t (or can’t) want to use your vehicle.

GM is obviously taking on Tesla’s Powerwall with this lineup, and it does have one unique feature that Tesla does not currently offer — vehicle-to-home charging. Tesla CEO Elon Musk actually indicated that its vehicles may never get the feature. Talking at its last shareholder meeting, when the company announced Master Plan 3, Musk said “I don’t think very many people are going to want to use bidirectional charging, unless you have a Powerwall, because if you unplug your car, your house goes dark, and this is extremely inconvenient.”

So, if you want bidirectional charging and an all-in-one EV/home energy solution to do it, GM has your back right now. We’ll have to wait and see if Tesla adds the feature to its EVs if consumer demand for such capability grows.

Of course, Tesla also has its own solar company and GM is partnering with a third party, so I imagine the integration that Tesla is able to build between these areas is better than GM. I’ll also trust Tesla UI/UX designers over GM any day. So, at least for me, I’d be sticking with Tesla on this one. Time will tell, though!

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.