While it's true the USA solar market has been buffeted recently by some companies' extraordinarily public exits through bankruptcies, it is still attracting heavyweight companies to join it speaks volumes about how its fundamentals are viewed around the world.
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.
"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. "Three-quarters of households view battery storage as an important addition to solar panels". That's why Vivint Solar, a residential solar installer in the United States and Mercedes-Benz Energy are working to bring solar storage options to homeowners.
Daimler will sell the batteries through its Mercedes-Benz Energy subsidiary established a year ago, bringing its aspirational auto brand to the home energy market in much the same way Tesla has with its Powerwall batteries.
With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate.
Vivint said the new combined systems can be scaled to a particular customer's needs and home size with the basic (and modular) 2.5 kWh system costing about $5,000 and going up to $13,000 for the max 20 kWh system. The installation of the entire system, including the solar panels and the battery, typically takes one to two days, once permits are secured.
The deal, he said, "allows customers to take the next step toward a sustainable energy future". Mercedes began selling its batteries in Europe and South Africa this year and will offer them in the USA through Vivint this summer, starting in California.
"According to Parks Associates research, 79% of rooftop solar PV owners purchased their system to save money on electricity", said Tom Kerber, director IoT strategy, at Parks Associates.
The Mercedes-Benz battery for solar home storage.
Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler is evidently planning for a future where luxury cars refuel in their own garages.
Mercedes-Benz "will help us both on the home storage as well as the EV charging stations over time", Bywater said. For more information, visit www.mercedes-benz.com/energy.
Vivint Solar had operations in 14 states at the end of a year ago. The German company was looking to break into the US solar home storage market and already had implemented solar home storage in other countries. 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. That means creating a system that keeps customers comfortable when they're home, but aggressively saves energy when they're not.