Tesla’s unique portfolio and massive multi-gigafactory production of solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles has a number of humanitarian applications in the setting of natural disasters. At some point in the near future, Tesla could partner with relief organizations to deploy a bundle of its products in such settings.
Tesla’s core business now involves solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicles. The Tesla Bundle is simply a scalable collection of these products, packaged together for deployment via land, sea, or air.
In the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, or other large scale natural disaster, loss of electricity can have downstream consequences on critical infrastructure including sanitation systems, hospitals, and emergency services. Portable generators are typically deployed on a temporary basis, but they have limited output and rely on the availability of gas or diesel. Solar panels and battery packs are a more viable option as they are sustainable (i.e. once it’s there, it keeps generating electricity) and scalable. They can be deployed at the building level (hospital, police station, etc.,) or substation level to stabilize the existing grid or create a local micro-grid, or at the community level in situations where the primary energy source (e.g. nuclear or coal plant) has been severely damaged or destroyed.
Larger Tesla Bundles could be deployed in staging areas such as sports stadiums, fair grounds, airports, parkings lots, or even a plot of undeveloped land. Folding solar canopies could serve a dual role of generating electricity and providing shade and shelter.
When deployed along a large body of water, Tesla Bundles could be paired with portable electric-powered water desalination and treatment systems to provide critical drinking water.
Even short term disruptions to the local fossil fuel infrastructure could negatively effect emergency services. A Tesla Bundle could include a fleet of electric all-wheel-drive ambulances and police vehicles (based on the Model X platform) and fire trucks and passenger buses (based on the Tesla Semi platform) to help restore critical emergency services and aid with evacuation and relocation.
Tesla Bundles with mobile communication towers (interfacing with SpaceX satellites of course) could restore internet and cellular services.
If the community’s hospital is damaged or destroyed, Tesla Bundles could also include mobile field hospitals.
Tesla Bundles could be deployed just about anywhere in the world. Depending on the urgency, they could be transported by cargo ship or flown in by air. Tesla Semi’s would then transport the Tesla Bundles to their final destinations, even if hundreds of miles from the airports and seaports. To access locations even further away, additional staging grounds and fast charging centers could be easily deployed along the routes.
The Tesla Bundle represents a paradigm shift from “sending consumable resources” to a disaster zone, to sending replacement resource-generating infrastructure into the disaster zone. But what will impress the world most beyond the sustainability, flexibility, and capability of the Tesla Bundle is the speed in which it can be deployed. A small Tesla Bundle containing several hundred kW of solar and battery power, mobile field hospital, mobile communications tower, water desalination system, and a dozen search and rescue EVs could be flown into a disaster zone in less than a day. Whereas repair or reconstruction of a nuclear or coal power plant would take months or years, a temporary or permanent replacement Tesla solar and battery based grid could be deployed in just days or weeks.