on January 10th, 2020

Tesla has officially announced that its lithium-ion home batteries, named the Powerwall, will be available in South Africa in 2020.

They have sent surveys to prospective South African customers inquiring about their home energy usage.

The questions the company put to the eager respondents were:

  • Do you have a Solar PV system currently installed at this property?
  • Do you own this property?
  • When would you like the installation to occur? (Within six months or 6-12 months)
  • Why do you want to install Powerwall or Solar Panels?

Image By Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

Tesla will send this feedback to a Certified Third Party Installer company who will make contact with the customer. This means there are companies with electrical engineers in South Africa, who are ready to install the solar panel arrays and the Powerwall.

Therefore, future electrical engineers in South Africa should be learning the tools of the renewables trade so that they, too, can find employment in the industry as it is set to blossom.

The consumer solar photovoltaic industry has been stymied for quite some time in South Africa. However, due to ongoing electricity load shedding in the country by the state utility, renewable energy is gaining in popularity.

According to My Broadband, a company named Rubicon is one of the companies importing the Powerwall to South Africa. They confirmed the pricing for South Africans to be:

  • Powerwall: R120,000 (USD $8,203.92)
  • Backup Gateway: R19,900 (USD $1,360.46)
  • Installation cost: R10,000 to R15,000 (USD $683.65 to USD $1,025.48)

Those in rural areas of South Africa can expect to pay significantly more in installation costs. Nonetheless, the availability of the Powerwalls to metropolitan areas in South Africa is a positive step in the right direction for a country urgently seeking to create and store electricity, powered by the African sun.

Powerwall 2, the second iteration of the Powerwall technology, can provide a consumer 13.5kWh of stored energy ready to use. It is a fully integrated AC battery system for residential or light commercial use.

To solve South Africa’s energy crisis, however, more solar companies are having to throw their hats in the ring. Lamo Solar has highly impressed the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. The President, at a recent investment conference, acknowledged the work the solar company is doing and encouraged more small and medium-sized enterprises to enter the renewable energy space.

South Africa is looking for innovative solutions to bringing electricity to the masses in 2020, as the government figures out what to do with the ailing state utility. President Ramaphosa has indicated that he wants to attract the likes of Elon Musk to South Africa so they can bring with them their innovative engineering technologies.

With the changing landscape of electrical engineering, engineers must continue learning and developing their skills.

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is one of the only institutes in the world specializing in engineering. Through our unique online delivery model, students can study with us from anywhere in the world, to continue their education while maintaining work and family commitments.

EIT offers several electrical engineering programs at different levels, from professional development, through to vocational education and training, and higher education.


Works Cited

Musk, Elon. “Would Love to, but Import Duties Are Extremely High, Even for Electric Vehicles.” Twitter, Twitter, 28 Aug. 2019, twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1166854343770988544?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1166854343770988544&ref_url=https://businesstech.co.za/news/technology/338275/elon-musk-on-why-tesla-is-not-in-south-africa/.

Vermeulen, Jan. “Tesla Powerwall Is Back in South Africa.” MyBroadband, 2 Dec. 2019, mybroadband.co.za/news/energy/328955-tesla-powerwall-is-back-in-south-africa.html.


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