Tesla Gigafactory 2 Gearing Up For Solar Roof Production This Summer

Alain Brian
Mai 19, 2017

"As Mercedes-Benz electrifies its vehicle fleet, solar plus storage is essential to enable those vehicles to be powered by clean energy", said Boris von Bormann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, in a press release.

Vivint Solar (VSLR) shares were up almost 2% in early market trading Thursday after the company announced a partnership with German automaker Daimler AG (DDAIF) to produce home batteries, tapping into an industry that generated $320 million in revenue previous year. This will also be Mercedes-Benz Energy's first collaboration with a US solar provider, bringing its premium, high-performance, road-tested technology for home use to the residential battery market.

A new kind of Benz.

Costs will vary depending on the system, but a fully installed 2.5 kWh battery system, when paired with a solar energy system will cost about $5,000, according to a Vivint Solar spokesperson. A kilowatt-hour is the amount of electrical energy consumed when 1,000 watts are used for one hour.

Still, they're not exactly cheap. One cool thing about these batteries is that they're modular - each individual weighs in at 2.5kWh, and they can be combined to create systems up to 20kWh. That's about enough to run a typical refrigerator for a week.

With batteries featuring the best in automotive engineering from Mercedes-Benz, and high-quality solar energy systems from Vivint Solar, our solution allows customers to take the next step toward a sustainable energy future.

"We really are after best of breed and Mercedes-Benz, in our mind, is best of breed", Bywater said.

California is the first US market where Vivint Solar will offer this solution directly to homeowners.

Advocates of solar energy, and other renewables such as wind, for years have been hoping that energy storage systems will come to market that can alleviate the instability of fluctuating weather patterns. Apart from the EQ brand with a family of vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is also developing a holistic ecosystem, which, alongside the vehicle itself, also comprises a comprehensive range of electric mobility-related offerings. If would-be vehicle buyers don't have to fret about how they'll charge the auto batteries, they might be more inclined to give these models a chance.

"An energy storage system will allow you to have an electric vehicle and self-produce that electricity for the electric vehicle", von Bormann said in an interview.

Parent company Daimler started the energy storage division in 2015 soon after Tesla Energy was launched.

Electric auto owners aren't the only target audience for these new storage systems.

For homeowners with solar power, the collaboration will provide them with more control over managing electricity costs and providing backup power if the grid goes down.

At Vivint Solar, said David Bywater, the chief executive, surveys indicated that at least half of the company's customers were looking for storage along with their solar arrays.

The new collaboration "is allowing us to expand our reach", he added.

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