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Mercedes-Benz enters the US battery storage market

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PV Magazine

Move over Elon. Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas has entered the wide-open U.S. EV+storage market, cherry-picking former sonnen USA CEO Boris von Bormann to lead the charge.

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The new company will help develop and will sell Lithium-ion batteries made by Daimler’s wholly-owned subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive, including efforts by Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, based in Sunnyvale, California. Mercedes-Benz has committed some €1 billion toward the mass development of the battery line.

Within that investment, the company will spend €500 million on a second battery factory at the Accumotive site in Kamenz, Saxony, online in 2018. Accumotive has been producing EV batteries since 2009.

In a company statement, Marc Thomas, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH, in Germany, said, “By founding Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, we are once again underscoring our ambition to be a technological and market leader in the field of highly efficient storage systems on a global scale.”

A independent residential storage product based on these batteries will be available early in 2017 in a range from 2.5 kWh to 20 kWh and include a 10-year warranty. A larger range commercial & industrial line is expected to follow.

And among its planned ventures into large-scale storage, Mercedes-Benz expects to build a 1 MW storage system to provide frequency regulation and demand response to PJM, a U.S. utility leader in the use of renewables for grid services.

Mercedes-Benz’ EQ concept vehicle EQ is a new generation of electric vehicles that will be capable of a driving range of up to 500 kilometers; the vehicle is part of the corporation’s CASE future growth plan. CASE stands for connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). The company is also developing a plug-in-hybrid line and is refining the use of 48-volt-systems.

The EQ ecosystem will include home EV chargers, intelligent charging applications for computers and hand-held devices, and may expand to include car-sharing, online automobile purchasing, among other innovations.

With 10 electric vehicles on the drawing board for 2025 within its EQ segment, Mercedes-Benz is moving into the mass-market for EV — and storage — that a variety of U.S. automakers have finally embraced in the last few years. While Tesla may prove to have a commanding residential line of storage, the price of its vehicles and its lack of a long corporate history may place it at a perceived disadvantage to Mercedes-Benz in this market.

Source: PV Magazine. Reproduced with permission.

  

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  • DJR96

    This is great news.
    Just as Elon Musk had hoped, his entire business model is paving the way of multiple industries into the future, and encouraging competition. The more manufacturers getting on board and providing choices for consumers, the more momentum it all gets and quicker the transition is to a sustainable future. Bring it on!