Tesla Motors, Meralco explore battery storage venture

Tesla Motors, Meralco explore battery storage venture

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc. is exploring the possibility of investing in the Philippines’ batter storage space, a Manila Electric Company (Meralco) official said.

Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo Panlilio told the media that they recently had a teleconference with Tesla executives, who are planning to visit the Philippines in September.

“We just had a first telecon. They’re coming in a month or so. I’m sure we’re going to talk about batteries but what kind of framework, [there’s none yet since] we just had an initial first call. But they’re interested to come in and explore,” he said.

“It’s a potential business partnership on small storage, that’s what we’re pushing hard now,” he added. “It’s still very open, but [we’re] exploring maybe a potential business partnership. I would think its more of storage, batteries. That’s what they’re pushing hard now. They said they’re not a car manufacturer, they’re a battery company.”

A possible partnership may revolve around Meralco’s upcoming venture into electric vehicles (EV) and solar energy. Panlilio said the company will showcase its EV charging stations in Pasig.

“We just have to be ahead of adoption, for example, if EV rollout finally comes on mass scale, Meralco should be ready – even with the charging stations.  We’ve been espousing about it for two years already, but it depends on the government also on what are the policies for EVs and how can you massively have more e-jeepneys (electric jeepneys)…there are still a lot of things that must be done,” Panlilio said.

Tesla is known for its success with self-driving electric cars and the production of its PowerWall batteries, which can be charged with electricity generated by solar panels. It is also said to be operational during power outages since the battery is operating outside of the grid and comes with an emergency back-up system.