A home battery isn't going to solve Tesla's short-term challenges

Tesla as much as admitted on Wednesday that it will be revealing a home battery on April 30.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted several weeks ago that the company was planning to unveil a new product, and at the time, pretty much everyone speculated that he was simply making good on a promise to roll out a battery.

Confirmation, more or less, came in the form of an investor letter from Jeff Evanson, Tesla’s investor relations director, CNN reported:

[T]he electric car company said it will announce a “home battery” and a “very large utility scale battery.” Similar products already exist on the market, but Tesla said it will explain why its batteries are better than competitors’ solutions at the event.

The batteries connect, in a bigger way, Tesla with SolarCity, a company that Musk is chairman of. Tesla has developed some considerable skill in electric storage and power management, as the company has developed electric cars that can serve up of 200-plus miles of range on a single charge.

Bringing this line of business into the picture, at a larger scale, makes a certain amount of sense for Tesla. But the core business isn’t yet batteries — it’s cars. Over time, Tesla may be building so many batteries that it become like and electric Standard Oil.

But for now, Tesla needs to move past its current, and only, car, the Model S sedan. The Model X SUV needs to arrive by the third quarter of this year. And the Model 3 mass-market car needs to hit by 2017.

A home battery isn’t going to achieve those objectives. Getting better at building lots of cars will. That’s something that investor need to keep in mind, next week and heading into Tesla first-quarter earnings announcement in early May.

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