Daimler AG is reorganizing its subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz Energy. “We continually review our activities, collaborations and investments, adapting our product planning to changing circumstances. This is also for the field of energy storage,” a spokeswoman for the German car manufacturer told pv magazine.
Since mid-2016, the carmaker has been active in the field of solar PV home storage – not only in Germany, but also in the U.S. It set up the subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz Energy specifically for its battery storage business.
“Even if today different synergy effects are recognizable between the automotive and stationary battery systems, our current analysis shows that the economy of home energy storage based on automotive battery systems will not be available in the medium and long term,” the spokesperson added.
“In particular, the performance requirements of highly complex automotive battery systems exceed by far the values required for the home storage market.”
Therefore, Daimler is now planning a “refocusing” of its subsidiary. In the future, the company intends to devote itself to the “development and construction of stationary energy storage devices for the company’s grid business – for example, second-use and replacement battery storage.”
Among other things, Daimler has participated in a 13 MW second-use project in Lünen, which utilized used vehicle batteries to stabilize the grid. The company has also already realized its first projects with replacement batteries, along with Stadtwerke Hannover.
These storage systems are often referred to as a “spare parts storage”, as car makers have to stock the battery modules for a few years. Daimler also integrates these into stationary large-capacity storage facilities, in order to provide network services.
Daimler will continue to offer solar PV home storage, but no longer under its own brand “Mercedes-Benz”. “Stationary home storage systems will continue to complement the offering as part of the product and technology brand EQ. However, in future Daimler will use selected cooperation partners with the aim of continuing to offer our customers attractive and appropriate solutions,” the spokesperson said.
Further details on possible cooperation partners or future sales models were not provided. However, the Daimler spokesperson said that no further solar PV home storage products under the Mercedes-Benz brand will be produced at the Kamenz site. The previously known models with the star on the front will thus disappear from the market.