Mercedes targets Tesla with home battery system

Randall Padilla
May 20, 2017

"The choice to work with Mercedes-Benz Energy, a world-class innovator in energy storage, was an easy one", said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar, in the release.

German automaker Daimler AG will enter the nascent US market for home batteries through a collaboration with residential rooftop solar installer Vivint Solar Inc, the two companies said on Thursday. The companies announced the partnership on Thursday.

The exclusive partnership, Vivint's first foray into energy storage, will allow the companies to compete against similar offerings from automaker Tesla Inc, solar installer Sunrun Inc, battery maker LG Chem Ltd and others.

"As Mercedes-Benz electrifies its vehicle fleet, solar plus storage is essential to enable those vehicles to be powered by clean energy".

Daimler announced in late 2016 an expansion of its stationary energy storage business to the United States and said then initial product offerings were to be expected in early 2017. The modular battery systems allows the homeowner to customize energy storage depending on how much energy is being captured and used. The company has done surveys and research to gauge what customers want, and they want smart energy consumption systems and solar storage, he said. "The launch of our home battery system in Europe has been successful and we are thrilled to be working with Vivint Solar to bring a reliable and compelling solar plus storage offering to American homes".

Vivint Solar, an offshoot of Vivint Smart Homes, a company that can trace its roots back to the late 1990s with Provo startup APX Alarm Security Solutions, has installed more than 100,000 solar energy systems across the US since being launched by its parent company in 2011.

According to BusinessInsider, Mercedes will be providing its at-home battery as a part and parcel of this drive. It has teamed up with Utah-based Vivint Solar for this goal. A basic package with the 2.5kWh battery is going to cost $5,000. It's also Mercedez's first foray into the US market.

Vivint says that it will begin installations by the end of the quarter - starting in California.

Residential storage remains a diminutive market in the USA, accounting for fewer than 1,000 systems deployed a year ago, according to GTM Research.

With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate.

Mercedes's systems will be cheaper. The size and capacity of the systems vary though they are completely dependent on the energy usage. And in two leading markets - California and Hawaii - new rates, incentives and rules are pushing customers to obtain batteries along with the solar panels.

Von Bormann said Mercedes is committed long-term to offering customers electric products, from vehicles to home storage.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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