Daimler enters energy storage market with Mercedes-Benz branded batteries

The German carmaker’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Deutsche ACCUmotive will produce the Mercedes-Benz energy storage units – 2.5 kWh and 5.9 kWh – at its production facilities in Kamenz, Saxony. Orders will be accepted this month; expectations are that the first deliveries will take place this autumn.

In residential applications, eight battery modules can be combined for a 20 kWh energy storage plant. Daimler has said it is planning to work with EnBW AG in this area. It is, however, looking for other sales and distribution partners both in Germany and internationally.

The systems can also be scaled up for commercial and industrial use. Currently, Daimler’s first industrial-scale lithium-ion unit, comprising 96 batteries totaling 500 kWh, is already online and is being operated by partner companies, The Mobility House AG and GETEC Energie AG. Over the next few weeks, there are plans to scale up to 500 kWh.

To date, Deutsche ACCUmotive has delivered over 60,000 lithium-ion batteries. Headquartered in Stuttgart, the company employs more than 250 people. It plans to almost double this by next year, and open up a third production shop. Overall, Daimler plans to invest €100 million in Deutsche ACCUmotive over the coming years.

"Mercedes-Benz energy storages provide the best confirmation that lithium-ion batteries Made in Germany have a viable future," commented Harald Kröger, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics & E-Drive Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The technology that has proven its worth over millions of kilometres covered in the most adverse conditions, such as extreme heat and cold, also offers the best credentials for stationary use. We have been gathering initial experience in this field since 2012," he added.

Last October, Daimler sold its 4% stake in Tesla Motors Inc. for around US$780 million, as part of a reorganization of its cooperation with the California electric vehicle company. Daimler also partnered with Tesla to launch the B-class Electric Drive in the U.S. last summer. The two will now be in competition with each other in the energy storage sector, after the recent introduction of Tesla’s Powerwall home battery solution.