Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar team up.
Tesla may have been the first to try its hand at home energy storage in the US, but Mercedes-Benz is on deck. The systems are made up of 2.5-kilowatt-hour batteries - each the size of a mini-fridge - that can be combined in systems up to 20 kilowatt hours. "The launch of our home battery system in Europe has been successful and we are thrilled to be working with Vivint Solar to bring a reliable and compelling solar plus storage offering to American homes".
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. 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.
Vivint Solar announced a new partnership with Mercedes-Benz Energy on Thursday that will couple batteries manufactured by the German automaker with residential solar energy systems from Vivint. "I wasn't interested in the chemistry associated with doing energy storage", Vivint Solar CEO David Bywater tells The Verge. Currently, Vivint is the exclusive direct-to-home provider for the Mercedes-Benz systems, but more distribution channels are expected soon.
For Mercedes-Benz, this will be its first collaboration with a US solar energy provider.
The second advantage is that energy storage gives electric vehicle owners a more convenient way to charge their cars at home.
For solar companies, battery storage may provide a lift in a market whose dizzying pace of growth has suddenly slowed, especially for leading installers like SolarCity and Vivint, which both reduced their installation estimates amid corporate upheaval, and Sungevity, which went bankrupt.
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The deal, he said, "allows customers to take the next step toward a sustainable energy future".
A recent survey by Greentech Media found residential storage in the USA costs between $1,300 and $2,000 per kilowatt-hour, excluding installation charges.
The luxury carmaker is exclusively partnering with Vivint Solar to sell a smart solar ecosystem to California residents, taking a direct shot at Tesla's new solar roof roll-out on its home turf.
The move is the latest in the solar industry's progression, started by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, of rolling battery and solar installations into one process.
Vivint says that it will begin installations by the end of the quarter - starting in California.
Tesla's Powerwall 2, which stores 14 kWh of energy, can cost as much as $11,450 including installation.
Mercedes-Benz "will help us both on the home storage as well as the EV charging stations over time", Bywater said.