As Tesla regularly points out, the lithium-ion battery cells used in electric cars can also serve in home energy-storage units.
Now, a Daimler company will go up against Tesla in that field under the branding of its most famous luxury-car make.
Mercedes-Benz Energy announced yesterday that it is working with Vivint Solar to develop home energy-storage products.
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The collaboration marks the first time that the German manufacturer has worked with a U.S. solar company.
Mercedes-Benz, however, has been selling battery systems in Europe and South Africa since early this year, according to The New York Times.
The company’s press release says the project will utilize expertise the automaker has honed while developing battery technology for electric vehicles specifically to create new residential batteries.
The project also helps Vivint offer its customers a cohesive solar package for the first time, combining panels with high-quality energy storage systems.
The battery packs themselves, 2.5-kilowatt-hour units, are about the size of a small refrigerator and housed in a sleek case.
Buyers can scale the system to fit their needs, combining units to build up to a 20-kWh bank.
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Mercedes-Benz Energy, while owned by Daimler, is a separate organization from the German auto manufacturer.
It’s the latest in a line of companies looking to pair renewable, localized energy sources with relatively inexpensive battery solutions.
Tesla has not been shy about highlighting the necessary link between electric vehicles and residential energy production and storage.
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Its vision of an integrated future includes Tesla products, from solar shingles to home battery banks, that all provide and manage renewable energy that can be used to charge its electric cars.
The New York Times reports that the market for solar panels has slowed in recent months.
That’s due in part to legislation that has reduced or eliminated incentives in states like Arizona and Indiana.
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Energy storage is the latest push from solar panel manufacturers to help kickstart their sales.
The hope is that linking solar, batteries, and electric vehicles together may prove to be a more convincing model than solar panels as a way to reduce energy costs alone.
Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar will begin offering the new batteries in California during the second quarter.
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