Why a 70-year old Swede bought a Tesla

Why a 70-year old Swede bought a Tesla

In spite of being a technical nincompoop, when it comes to computers:

you see, this car is exactly what was missing from my new approach to life. I am seeing what is happening to the world, to the weather (noticeable even up here in Sweden) and it dawned upon me that, if we have to trust the politicians to do anything, the world will all be destroyed. The best helping hand is at the end of the own arm, so I started researching, planning and building my dream house instead, and a demo house for what can be done. I have spent every farthing I've managed to save in a long life in music (classical music record label) to build this eco-house, on 3 acres by a small lake. The house is about 6'000 sq. feet incl. a concert hall, sprawling. There I have managed to combine several different methods of energy-saving (solar cells, solar panels, geothermal heating, water-mantled fire-places, waste water and air heat extraction, an insulation basically never built before, accumulator tanks for solar-warmed hot water in the size of 6'000 gallons). So the house - even in Stockholm on the 60th lat and with panorama windows galore - actually over the year creates more energy than it wastes. I sell surplus electricity to the grid. Own garden and own composts, own water.
There is no other car than Tesla that belongs to a house like this. It is a lifestyle thing. Of course, the $157'000 the P85 Sig costs in Sweden with all applicable taxes (anyone would believe that the Swedish Government idiots should support this in any way, shape or form - bah - forget it! I'll get a subsidy of $6'000 sometime in the future, that's it - look at the Norwegians - now that's an intelligent country) is daunting, but I had to be consistent - cannot build a house like that and drive a normal car.

So now I am happier than a pig in shit! A dream come true.

Only one thing: Elon Musk doesn't answer letters.
I had a splendid idea for him and Tesla, served up on a platter:

The problem with my house is that I cannot store energy. There are no affordable battery solutions. So the energy I sell at 12 noon I have to buy back (at twice the price) in the evening. I simply suggested that Elon should reshape the Tesla battery for home-storage use, to be charged during the day and delivering the necessary energy during the night. In my humble opinion, this would take the market by storm. In Germany (where they abolished nuclear power) there is a huge research going on in batteries, because they are actively supporting solar power and half of the roofs in Germany is being pasted with solar cells, all having the same problem: storage. The going rate is about $18'000 for a three (3) kWh storage. 85kWh is enough for a long time. There is a HUGE potential demand for a home-based Battery. I even considered buying a spare Tesla 85 battery, but the shape is such that it is difficult to store, and it would have to be reconfigured to give out 230V.
But Elon or his colleagues don't answer repeated mails about this. Pity. Frankly, a Home Battery would have a business potential far in excess of the car itself.

So, someone give him a push. Give me a small commission, and I'll sell that Battery in the thousands.

Robert von Bahr
CEO, BIS Records and (hi-res downloading)

Kleist | 5 octobre 2013

Robert - you just discovered the secret of Elon's secret master plan. Tesla is not about cars, Tesla is only about electricity storage with cars only as the lure for you to shell out the high cost for storage now until the prices are down.
I have calculated it for my house with solar... all I need is an 8 kWh battery to shift from solar peak to usage peak. Today an 8 kWh lead acid system costs $10k and weighs half a ton with batteries lasting about 5 years. Give me a battery system at $3k weighing 150 lbs and lasting 10-20 years and I install it tomorrow.
Tesla has a pilot trial with Solar City of an 8 kWh battery system based on the car system... if that becomes widely available it should be around 100-150 pounds and cost $3-4k... I am ready.

robert | 5 octobre 2013

Well, I don't know where you live, but 8 kWh for sure wouldn't do it for me here in wintry Sweden. OTOH I suppose that you can buy several of those 8 kWh Batteries and parallel connect them.

Yes, I am game and - Elon, if you read this - use my house as a pilot testing ground. If it can handle it it here, with this large house in a very cold climate, then it'll do it anywhere.

I had no idea that Tesla was into this as well, but, ahem, harrumph, great minds think alike...


Notre | 5 octobre 2013

A battery built with todays technology has limited life, so there is no economic gain to this idea and it is also environmentally debatable considering use of resources and waste in production and recycling.

robert | 5 octobre 2013

That depends very much on how the electricity used at night is generated. If, like in Germany, from coal or oil, I would say that environmentally the Battery, with Tesla's system, is vastly superior! Not the lead/acid battery, though, there we agree.


Kleist | 6 octobre 2013

Robert - yes, the 8kWh is the right size for sunny California, but you have to start somewhere. Elon once said his most important market is Germany... that tipped me off, because the MS or even the Gen3 are big cars in Germany - not main stream. On the other hand Germany just moved from solar incentives to electrical storage incentives.
Here is my wish list - (a) 350 miles EPA car, (b) 8+kWh home storage for $3+k and (c) solar cells imbedded in my unused drive way ( area is good for more then 20 MWh per year = more then 50 k miles driving ).
I hope at least one wish will come true.

NomoDinos | 6 octobre 2013

Robert - your home sounds amazing! You should have it featured on HGTV to show off your hard work and attempts to minimize your environmental impact. Would love to see pics!

robert | 6 octobre 2013

I have some pics from the building period, but I don't know how to post them (what did I say about being computer savvy?).
I'll ask someone. Possible on this Forum?


Kleist | 6 octobre 2013

Robert - on the general forum there are several threads how to post pictures. Not easy here but doable.

Notre | 6 octobre 2013

Even assuming 100% efficiency and more than 1000 full cycles an 85 kWh battery would yield less than 100.000 kWh. At $ 20.000 for the battery one kWh would be more than 20 c.

robert | 6 octobre 2013

Yes, I can also crunch the same numbers. If I had looked at numbers (my house cost in the region of 5 Million Dollars to build) I wouldn't even have considered doing it. I did it for 2 reasons:

1) to be able to enjoy life without having a bad conscience for how much I pollute the environment
2) to show others, and in particular politicians with mouth diarrhoea but paraplegical, when it comes to action, what actually can be done, if one really wants to. Someone has to go first, and that costs. The next in line won't have to pay my research costs, for instance (strike one of those millions).

Yes, I put myself in heavy debt to do this, and I will never recoup, should I or my heirs sell, but there are more important things than money, and I am healthy enough to work away my 90-hour weeks, so that I can repay the bank.

robert | 6 octobre 2013

Sorry, pushed the SUBMIT too early.

But the main theme was that even if you're right, 20 cent for a kWh isn't that much in Europe. And energy will become more expensive, that is for sure, at the same time as the batteries will get less exopensive.

Add to this that you're immune against power cuts (something that occurs frequently where I live) and that, if you generate the kWh yourself, really can afford whatever luxury electricity gives you without wasting energy and limited resources (like oil, coal, non-polluted air, clean water etc etc).


Notre | 6 octobre 2013

The idea is to avoid selling cheaply at night and buying more expensively at day time if my understanding is correct.

Producing and recycling batteries also involve evironmental impact, so it is not sustainable.

Notre | 6 octobre 2013

Elon is a realist. To make this idea commercial it must be economically sound, which it is not at this time except in areas without infrastructure.

robert | 6 octobre 2013


No, for the home producer (= solar cells) the idea is NOT to sell cheaply during the day, when the solar cells work, and to AVOID buying at night at whatever price.


Alaa | 6 octobre 2013


One of the biggest revenue to the Swedish state is the 300% tax on fuel. If they lose that where will they get enough money to pay pensions? Thus electric cars will not be welcomed by the Swedish state until they find a way to get this money.

Let us suppose that you can make your own electricity from running water or during the summer from the sun and storing it as you wish, then the state might tax you for just breathing air in Sweden as they have no way to control you. At any rate I think they are already taxing people and new immigrants for just breathing air in Sweden.

If you store energy in Li batteries you will get the greens on you as Li is bad to the environment etc. If you use carbon based (Graphene) ultra capacitors the state will jump on you as carbon is, well they will come up with a reason to make you think that it is bad!

I think you should address the real problem in Sweden and that is to return to the old values and not equate the giver with taker and give both the same voting rights. The taker will ofcourse vote to maintain being a taker and living off the giver!

Also equating women with men is something that mushroomed after all the men in Germany were killed in the war and the women had to do all the jobs of men to survive. There was not one war in man's history that resulted in anything good for the loser.

One of the shocking things in Sweden is that a woman has no right for her husbands pension when he dies! The state says that they equate the 2. Now that is one reason why you hardly have babies and import immigrants.

Anyway back to Tesla and Elon. Sweden is a small country and I do not think that Elon should spend time to try and solve Sweden's problems. I wish that Tesla concentrates on making cars for the world and stop our addiction to oil; which Sweden is secretly in love with since it is a very good way to control its nationals.

Notre | 6 octobre 2013

Sorry for sounding negative. Your project is great and fascinating and a Tesla car belongs in your garage, but you wanted a response from Elon, and I merely point out that what you do is not commercially viable and not even environmentally positive considering the resources used and waste produced in the process.

Night time electricity from Germany is mainly from wind power if I'm not mistaken and sometimes sold at negative price and wasted, so why avoid it?

robert | 6 octobre 2013

I don't think that this is the place for political discussions other than those that pertain to energy in general and EV:s in particular. The problems in Sweden, as you point out, are not Elon's concern, but Planet Earth is, if one may believe what he says. Obviously - at least to me - is that if there would be a way to store solar energy, produced in the daytime, to use in the nighttime, rather than electricity generated from fossile fuels or nuclear plants, this is preferrable - at almost any cost. And the quoted 20c (which would certainly go down in mass production) is already that not very expensive.
I have a very hard time to understand those that only conform because the law says so (we call it redemption under the gallows). If we don't do anything pretty desperately fast, there'll be not much to discuss about a couple of generations forward - especially not, if one lives in one of those islands with about 3 feet of ground.

@Notre. This, therefore, would also be my answer to you. If this world really would be dependent upon politicians (a profession, with which I have the most deep-rooted disgust), there's no hope whatsoever - just look at the political situation in the world today. As long as people waste energy recklessly - Hummers for instance, A/C to freezing point in hotels and restaurants etc, etc, we have no chance. I don't want to be an Amish, but they do have a point. Either we develope sustainable systems or we continue to deplete fossile fuels, using them for things we shouldn't, or nuclear energy (remember Three Mile Island, Tchernobyl and Fukushima??) and go under. OR we take the endless energy given us by the sun, learning how to store it and use it for everything we need.
For this reason I believe that someone like Elon Musk actually IS someone akin to a Messiah - he doesn't blabber - he uses his money to accomplish something worthwhile, and I am not only referring to Tesla.
You are wrong about the German energy. They have abolished nuclear power, but not need for electricity. Therefore they have steeped up coalburning plants and oilburning plants (to my eternal shame a Swedish company, Vattenfall, is a major part of doing all that) to cater for their needs rather than installing storage possibilities for the enormous amount of solar energy that is now being produced there thanks to the German State's subsidy plans.

Anyway, the reasoning of whether something is commerciably OK or not is a moot point. Like it or not, we will HAVE to do it, or go under. Not you, nor certainly me, but I want a good world also for my grandchildren and their litters. We're all in the same boat. It CAN be done. I have proved that it can be done even in Stockholm, Sweden. Elon has proved that it can be done in cars. So, as it CAN be done, why not make sure it IS done on a general scale. You can't get a building permission for a house in Israel, unless you have solar panels for hot water. Why not in the most energy-wasting country in the planet, USA??
My solar panel/cell system is paying for itself in 6 years, at today's electricity prices but guaranteed to keep for 30 years. And that's in Stockholm with basically no sun for 5 months.


sunnysailor | 6 octobre 2013

I think what you have done with your house and buying a Tesla is inspirational. I would encourage you to contact HGTV which is television channel that focuses on home and gardens. It is popular in North America, but I am unsure if they broadcast into Europe. HGTV does film around the world looking at interesting homes. It would be one method to share with many others what sounds like a wonderful house with green technology and a beautiful Tesla parked out front! HGTV usually does not disclose the exact location of the house so you can preserve your privacy.

I hope the 90 hour weeks retires the debt soon.



bb0tin | 6 octobre 2013

There has been several studies done on vehicle to grid systems or V2G. Power arbitraging, grid stabilising are benefits beyond self-sufficiency. The Nissan Leaf in Japan will have (has?) this
I would imagine the cost to implement the system on a Tesla would not be that great since we are talking about a few kw only. It would be even cheaper for Tesla to allow 3rd parties to supply the inverter and control system and Tesla supply the interface to the car. The 3rd party bits are external to the car.

Kleist | 6 octobre 2013

Robert - you just got it right. For most folks the stars haven't aligned perfectly yet and use as an excuse to keep on doing the same old thing. But the key is to start doing something different...
I just got my solar installed good for 20k miles driving a year - so $100k for the car and $20k for the solar for the next 10 years that is $12k a year. Gasoline car would be $40k car plus $40k gasoline so about $8k year... ICE is the more economical solution. But now I am not using the 1000 gallons of gasoline every year... in practice that is not even a drop in be bucket, but these 1000 gallons a year do not have to be extracted from the earth, refined and distributed. You have to start some where.
We will not make a material difference... but we can make a real difference if we teach our children there is an alternative.

Brian H | 6 octobre 2013

The pic basics are:
1 store pix on a free website
2 right click on stored image, select "Copy Image Location"
3 Insert in the following HTML:
<img src="URL" width="600">

Some sites have special instructions, like Flickr.

jkn | 9 octobre 2013

Soon a liquid metal battery might be solution for Roberts house.
Probably not good for cars (I believe somebody is developing it).

Fredlambert | 9 octobre 2013


Tesla provides home energy storage batteries for SolarCity.

It is currently being test in California, but it doesn't cost anything to make an inquiry about a special delivery in Sweden.

Lyndon Rive, the CEO of SolarCity, is Elon Musk's cousin and Elon is chairman of the board and a major shareholder.

Good luck with your project.

robert | 9 octobre 2013

Thank you - I have already written to Elon Musk several times, but he hasn't deigned me with an answer, not even a form answer. And, yes, I have the correct address.

I have now tried to write to SolarCity today. Let's see...


Fredlambert | 9 octobre 2013

Keep us updated.

lycka till

DallasTXModelS | 9 octobre 2013

I got an email from SolarCity and they said they didn't have anyone in my area and they were giving my name to Mr. Electric.

I then got a call from a lady at Mr. Electric and said they could come out that weekend to install my charger for my Model S. I told her that my car order was confirmed but it wasn't supposed to be delivered for several months.

I also told her I didn't know why they said there is noone in my area for SolarCity when they have 4 locations listed in Dallas area and one that is less than 6 miles away.

DallasTXModelS | 9 octobre 2013
Thomas N. | 9 octobre 2013

Elon Musk is not going to reply. Are you serious about this? Can you imagine how many solicitation requests for new technologies he receives a day? Even on this site I have noticed the proliferation of "new members" touting liquid metal battery designs and sure-fire technology advancements.

At this point it would be like sending an email to and telling him all about your ideas for the next iPhone. Steve Jobs was known to very occasionally reply to random emails but mostly it went into the ether.

Like it or not, Elon now has pseudo-rockstar status. His days as an anonymous engineer with a small company that sold a two-seat sportscar are long gone.

rocketscientist34563 | 9 octobre 2013

You wouldn't happen to know Erling Ribbing would you? He is a jazz musican, Svierges Jazz Band. He is my uncle and you probably know his daughter...Kicki Theander Ribbing...Middasfreid?
I'm getting the Tesla for similar reasons to yours although I have too many reasons as to why I am getting this car and they all seem equally impressive. Kicki was visiting me this summer in California and I was quite obsessed with getting a Tesla. They don't know mine arrives next Thursday!
Congrats on your house and car. And love your battery idea, maybe he's reading.
Sweden's problems??? Just read the thread comment.

robert | 9 octobre 2013

@Thomas N.
Compared with Mr. Musk I am like a fart in Universe. Nevertheless, I head the 7th biggest classical record company in the world and the No 1 biggest company in the world for hi-res classical downloads and sit in a number of other Boards. You could say that I am slightly busy.

Yet, I never leave a bona fide letter unanswered. It simply is impolite. The difference between Mr. Musk and myself is that he could employ a score of secretaries that screen his mails and answer them, even if only with a "Thank you but go away". I never leave a tape unheard that artists send to me (and I get a LOT). Most of them are hopeless, but, unless I listened in on everything, I would miss that diamond in the grey mass that very occasionally comes my way.

In this case I believe that the market for stationary batteries is potentially both more important and more profit-making, albeit not as sexy, as cars. Be that as it may, I have explained a bona fide situation with a unique house that will most likely be the topic for a number of specialist magazines, when I have the time to get my act together. I do believe that I am a small step above the local crack-head. If he chooses to ignore that, so be it.



Erling Ribbing. Only by name. If I guess correctly, I knew his father, the pianist Stig Ribbing, quite well. A wonderful musician, as, I am told, is Erling, but in jazz, which is not my forte. Kicki I don't know, sorry.


Lessmog | 12 octobre 2013

Well, so play it piano then ;-)

Small world, our old country. I certainly heard of you, maybe even met, in the early 70's in connection with Ljudtekniska Sällskapet. Also later of course, from your excellent record company.
Erling Ribbing was a former colleague of my SO since (35? wow) years and I befriended someone called Thyra Ribbing when I was maybe 4. (She was much older.) Probably somehow related.

Back on topic: Is there someone else you might try to contact? Although Elon is like the spider of the web, there must surely be other ways to connect. (The whole planet is rather limited:)

To this humble person it appears to be a swell idea to shop-window your futuristic house for solar tech, probably many glossy magazines and TV specials would be very much interested. And that might trigger plenty of sales, all over the higher echelons of the industrial world. What's not to like?

mathiasc | 13 octobre 2013

@robert: You make me proud to be Swedish! Also buying a Tesla with delivery in January. Looking at installing solarscells on my house. If you you have any pointers to the best price/performance in Sweden let me know.

mathiasc | 13 octobre 2013

I also know that Bill Gates care a lot about this topic. Send him an email. Probably even harder to reach but you never know...

gill_sans | 13 octobre 2013

Robert, I think former U.S. secretary of energy Steven Chu might agree with you. In July he said power generation and storage should be decentralized. He thinks the electricity companies should own the solar panels on people's roofs and people should have small home battery backups (5 kilowatts).

Kleist | 13 octobre 2013

@gill_sans - you just described Elon's vision for many years. Distributed electricity generation ( SolarCity ) and distributed electricity storage ( Tesla ).
An 8 kWh battery is all you need to shift the solar peak to the usage peak on average in CA... SolarCity is installing and Tesla is making ( on a trial basis currently ) the batteries. Make it available at a cost of $3k and last 20 years and I have it installed tomorrow.

robert | 13 octobre 2013


as would I, but I'd buy about 10 of them and parallel couple them to get abt 80 kWh (big house, very cold, sometimes no sun for weeks on end). That would be a dream come true. Then I actually would leave very small foot-prints on the environment and that's what we all need to do. I wish Mr. Musk could let me beta-test the batteries as I am currently doing with his car.


Kleist | 13 octobre 2013

Robert - you have the right spirit. I am only 8 years behind you... do we need to fool around?

Brian H | 14 octobre 2013

Your email address for Elon is incorrect. I've seen the correct one, and that's not it (tho' I forget exactly what it was.) So your mail went into the null bucket (tech term for The Void).

robert | 14 octobre 2013

Odd. The address was confirmed by a high officer in the UK (who was on copy with instructions to forward). But I can understand why he wouldn't follow the Tesla normal addresses' build-up. He would never find the important ones in the vast number of mails cluttering up his computer.

But the mails didn't bounce, either, so someone must have been getting them.


Tesla-David | 14 octobre 2013 Thanks for sharing your incredible efforts at reducing your carbon footprint. This is a fascinating discussion by all. I too have been on the same journey and am a net electricity producer in Edmonds, Washington (13.2 kWh solar array), not known for its solar potential. I am able to over produce during the summer 300%+ but am only at 10-20% of electric use during the winter selling everything back to the grid.

Maybe the link below may have some promise to provide solar energy storage as a potential solution in the future. Crescent Dunes Solar power plant under construction in Nevada, which leverages molten salt as both the energy collection and energy storage mechanism. This provides a solution by trapping/storage of energy generated during the day over the nighttime providing clean renewable energy over the full 24 hour day.

RZippel | 14 octobre 2013

Hi Robert,

Don't get your point on energy storage. A typical, inexpensive car 12V battery already has about half a kWh. 6 of those will be more close to $400 than to $18000. I think batteries like that are pretty common for photo-voltaic systems as a buffer for the night. 20 should give you 240V, at 1000€ + the system to hook it up with your home grid, with 10kWh and a form factor suitable for a house.

I strongly doubt that the TESLA battery is the right thing here, capacity is nice but the price should be to high if you don't care about the kind of max. output it can produce, the weight and form factor, etc.

Cheers from Germany,


RZippel | 14 octobre 2013

...and at 3000€, 20 would have already about 30 kWh... If you dream of 80 kWh that is still much cheaper than a TESLA battery, about a third I would guess...

And even the "rolls royce" 8 kWh category is only around 9000€ all in with electronics, see here e.g.:



robert | 14 octobre 2013

Guten Abend, Robert,

ich könnte Dir ziemlich viel darüber schreiben, aber...

I could write novels about that, and of course I have investigated regular batteries.

The problems are 3:

1) they cannot do many cycles
2) the environmental impact with the lead and acid is big
3) they weigh a fantastic amount and, just let me add a
4) they are dangerous, for fumes and explosion.

The point that I am trying to get across is that I don't really care all that much about the initial cost, as long as I can fulfil my dream, which is to be basically independent and showing others that, if there's a will, there's a way, and we MUST start employing that will in actions, not just blabber about it. Someone always has to be the icebreaker. Looking at what is happening to the planet, with one natural disaster after the next, multiplication of tornados compared to what it was, I am not all that convinced that we have that much time. To not try to rectify this is - in my view - careless to the point of criminality. All this money discussion is a moot point, if survival is at stake.


RZippel | 15 octobre 2013

Sehr gut nachvollziehbar Robert.

So still the IBC solution (example for others on the market, I am not associated with them) should be something for you if initial cost is not so much the issue. 8 kWh / 9.000€ should be fine, sounds better than 18.000$ for 3 kWh. And it is a system with 10 years warranty especially designed for what you want to do with it. Should be enough for electricity. Don't try to heat with anything else than your warm water reservoir.

There are much larger systems for storage for the whole winter, underground of course, but I am not sure you can create all the warm water where your house is. But I am quite sure you have done the math well. 150 to 500 liters of water per square meter of collector was typical in the past, now solar long term storage can be around 100 m³ = 27.000 gallons for a house your size, if the collectors can heat it in the summer.

There are specialists for this in Germany, but we have a little more sun...

However, I admit after pushing heating into the range of electricity (not counting the MS) I stopped because every other % become very cost intensive. Don't even have a collector on the roof... I already pay for the roll out of renewable energy with every kWh I use in Germany, so I don't leave the government out of the responsibility to use that well. And personally, all energy used is Norwegian hydro power...

robert | 15 octobre 2013

Dear Robert,

I can only use the hot-water reservoire that long - even that much water does cool down towards Winter, but I use electricity for geothermal heating, which has an effectivity rate of almost 400%.

I must have missed the ICM solution or I am going barmy.

Since this isn't the Forum for that, could you possibly write to me directly at the address so carelessly given - in German, if you please - and give me a few hints about what that system is and whether it is available commercially. I may very well go for it, because I want to make absolutely certain that the energy I use is really green. Frankly, I don't trust the electricity companies - sure I pay extra for green electricity, but I am also sure that I get a mix anyway, since they can't separate the green from the oil/coal/nuclear-based variety they ship out - the greeen we pay for is just a mathematical formula.

I don't think kosher-keeping Jews would be happy about getting a sausage, which says kosher, if the producer says that only 30% in fact is kosher, because only 30% of the customers demand and pay for it.


RZippel | 15 octobre 2013

I will try to find a link, just remember a documentary on TV. Will use email.

Relax, you need to look at it like that, you pay for the energy moving the electrons at the source, even if those electrons moving through your consuming devices have never been there. So no oil has been burnt because of your demand, even if it would have been physically handled by a conventional plant. You can have a clean conscience.

Brian H | 15 octobre 2013

you can go into your profile and change the display name. It will retroactively, so to speak, revise all your posts.