Mercedes-Benz bringing home battery storage to California

Mercedes-Benz is entering the budding market for home energy storage, partnering with solar installer Vivint Solar to offer home batteries to California residents this month.

The move brings Mercedes-Benz Energy, based in Sunnyvale and a subsidiary of German automaker Daimler, into the U.S. home energy market with LG Chem, Sunverge and Tesla, among several other established companies and startups. The companies announced the partnership on Thursday.

Mercedes-Benz Energy America CEO Boris von Bormann said the two companies will focus on delivering high levels of service and quality to customers. “They’re expecting a quality experience, a quality product,” he said.

Vivint Solar, a Utah-based installation company with customers in 16 states, offers custom services for homeowners, including solar panel installation, smart home systems and storage. “For most Americans, that’s a complicated thing to put together,” Vivint CEO David Bywater said.

Prices will range from $5,000 for a 2.5 kilowatt-hour battery to $13,000 for a 20 kilowatt-hour system fully installed. The product will be offered exclusively through Vivint Solar.

Mercedes started selling battery systems in Europe last year. The U.S. market offers fewer subsidies, and residential systems typically do not pay for themselves. The storage may be eligible for state and federal tax incentives.

A recent survey by Greentech Media found residential storage in the U.S. costs between $1,300 and $2,000 per kilowatt-hour, excluding installation charges.

Bywater said with expected changes to utility regulations, the batteries should be able to pay for themselves. Costs are also expected to decrease as more homeowners adopt the technology.

Von Bormann added that many homeowners buy storage for the appeal of becoming energy-independent.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla last year updated its home storage, Powerwall, a 14 kilowatt-hour battery. A full system costs $6,200 plus installation, and multiple Powerwall packs can be wired together for greater capacity.

Von Bormann said Mercedes is committed long-term to offering customers electric products, from vehicles to home storage. The company is expected to launch 10 new electric vehicles by 2025.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz home battery storage and Vivint Solar energy system. (Courtesy of Vivint Solar and Mercedes-Benz Energy)


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