Daimler, Vivint Solar in exclusive deal on U.S. home batteries

Geronimo Vena
Mag 19, 2017

It's about making the power generated by the sun work 24/7. That's why Vivint Solar, a residential solar installer in the United States and Mercedes-Benz Energy are working to bring solar storage options to homeowners. The companies announced the partnership on Thursday.

Vivint Solar is one of the three largest residential solar installers in the US, though it trails SolarCity, which Tesla acquired late previous year.

Read: Solar Energy In U.S.: Could You Have A Solar Home?

"We believe Mercedez's energy storage system is going to delight our customers and are impressed with their ambitious plans for the future", said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar.

Solar and energy storage prices are highly dependent on your market (electricity cost, gov incentives, etc.) and your property. The companies have similar goals.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to energy storage, Mercedes-Benz is betting that a modular approach will save customers money and eventually pull more of them in.

Home energy storage opens up an entirely new market for the company's battery technology, which it originally developed to power its line of electric vehicles. The installation of the entire system, including the solar panels and the battery, typically takes one to two days, once permits are secured. That way customers who are looking to be environmentally conscious when they drive, can also carry that consciousness into the home.

It will sell customers the systems outright or finance the purchase.

Now that A to Z process will also include storage. The complete 20kWh system will cost $13,000.

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

"In fact, Musk said last week that production of the solar roofing tiles - expected to be the dominant product of the Buffalo factory - will ramp up "very slowly" as the company gradually rolls out its sleek new roofing product, first in California and then in other markets". For Vivint and Mercedes, what sets them apart is their consistency and dependability. Mercedes-Benz is a well know company that's been around for almost a century and Vivint puts its customers first they explained.

In some states, including California, where Mercedes and Vivint will initially focus their efforts, the economic equation is beginning to make sense, investors and analysts say. "You know that no matter what happens the company will still be there and there will be the tech to support it and service it", Bormann said.

Mercedes has been moving quickly toward electrifying its vehicle fleet, and some have suggested the company could become a formidable competitor to Tesla, especially in luxury vehicles.

Daimler has been testing out battery projects for a few years. They're noiseless and can be mounted on the wall or stand on the floor and come with a 10-year warranty. "Solar plus energy storage at the residential level is nearly definitely the future, but it isn't yet the present".

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