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 US branch of Mercedes-Benz's energy division, which packages the company's automotive batteries for stationary applications.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla a year ago updated its home storage, Powerwall, a 14 kilowatt-hour battery.

"With batteries featuring the best in automotive engineering from Mercedes-Benz, and high-quality solar energy systems from Vivint Solar, our solution allows customers to take the next step toward a sustainable energy future".

This is exactly the same kind of system. Vivint Solar will be on hand at the installation to customize the homeowner's setup based on their energy consumption. The system can store the energy created during the day for use later, when the sun goes down and energy usage rates often climb.

So Vivint started looking for partners and Mercedes-Benz seemed like a logical fit.

Vivint Solar, a leading provider of residential rooftop systems, has tried many things over the years to gain an edge on the competition.

Mercedes-Benz "will help us both on the home storage as well as the EV charging stations over time", Bywater said.

For now, Mercedes will leverage its partnership with Vivint to roll out its battery in California, but it could expand to other states based on consumer interest.

Mercedes-Benz Energy America CEO Boris von Bormann said the two companies will focus on delivering high levels of service and quality to customers.

For homeowners with solar power, the collaboration will provide them with more control over managing electricity costs and providing backup power if the grid goes down. Tesla's Powerwall battery, which can be integrated with the solar roof, was one of the first residential energy storage products on the market in the US. But Mercedes was waiting for "a partner that has a national footprint that has a high quality standard in their installation and in the way they present the company" in the USA, which von Bormann calls a "key market". The complete 20kWh system will cost $13,000.

For reference, a US residential home used 901 kWh of electricity a month on average in 2015, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Both von Bormann and Bywater think their companies can take advantage of the growing interest in solar energy despite the uncertainty the new administration has brought to the industry. "The customer will know that the Vivint brand and the Mercedes brand will be there", 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 vehicle.

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