Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Mercedes-Benz partners with Vivint Solar for home energy storage in US

Mercedes-Benz partners with Vivint Solar for home energy storage in US

This marks the first storage alliance for Vivint, and the first solar partnership for the USA branch of Mercedes-Benz's energy division, which packages the company's automotive batteries for stationary applications.

Daimler unveiled its Mercedes-branded home battery pack a year ago, but this new deal with Vivint will enable them to distribute it more widely in the US. Currently, Vivint is the exclusive direct-to-home provider for the Mercedes-Benz systems, but more distribution channels are expected soon.

The batteries work as a backup if the grid goes down, but they also allow users to make the most of their solar energy.

Vivint Solar is a sister company of Vivint Smart Home and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Mercedes' batteries are coming to California first. That way customers who are looking to be environmentally conscious when they drive, can also carry that consciousness into the home. In addition to being able to purchase a solar energy system outright, customers may benefit from Vivint Solar's affordable, flexible financing options or power purchase agreements.

Now that A to Z process will also include storage.

The energy storage systems will be made up of 2.5 kWh modular batteries that can be combined to create a system as large as 20 kWh. The batteries won't be necessary or required for customers, but Bywater said he hopes more customers will choose to go the battery route as time passes. A full system costs $6,200 plus installation, and multiple Powerwall packs can be wired together for greater capacity. "In most cases we try to size it so the battery can take you through the night", Bormann said.

Musk made that much clear at his initial solar-roof unveiling, where he discussed how a solar push would allow for the full integration of Tesla products: a Powerwall that both stores solar energy and juices up your Tesla electric auto.

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Tesla's Powerwall 2, which stores 14 kWh of energy, can cost as much as $11,450 including installation. "They're expecting a quality experience, a quality product", he said. For Vivint and Mercedes, what sets them apart is their consistency and dependability. "Obviously. Hopefully not to the point that it hinders the industry", von Bormann says. "The market is big enough that there are several companies in this space that can coexist and do really well, so there's not a need for a shark mentality out there to grab market share from others", von Bormann tells The Verge.

To view the online media kit, including downloadable photos and video, visit Vivint Solar's newsroom. They're noiseless and can be mounted on the wall or stand on the floor and come with a 10-year warranty.

The batteries are already in use overseas, and are manufactured at a Daimler factory in Germany. And although Mercedes is mainly a luxury brand in the United States, offering a home power system allows the company to tie itself to environmentally friendly cars in general, and to position itself as being "not just about the vehicle but the entire infrastructure that supports the auto", Brauer said.

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