In Depth

Mercedes targets Tesla with home battery system

Electricity storage system reportedly cheaper than Tesla's Powerwall 2, but doesn't store as much power

Mercedes-Benz Energy, a sustainable power sub-division of the Daimler automotive group, has announced plans to offer home solar battery storage systems to customers in the US.  

It is teaming up with technology firm Vivint Solar to develop batteries that "let homeowners store and save electricity generated by solar panels so it can be used around the clock", says The Verge. Each cell has a capacity of 2.5kWh, while buyers "can scale a total of eight of them for a more modest 20kWh". 

Tesla's Powerwall 2, the partnership's closest rival, has a maximum capacity of 13.5kWh and "customers can buy up to 10 of those to scale to their needs". 

Mercedes's systems will be cheaper. According to the Verge, each battery will be priced at $5,000 (£3,846)- around $500 (£384) per battery less than Tesla's product.

It will cost around $13,000 (£10,000) "fully installed", which includes "the battery, an inverter, professional installation, permitting, and a consultation with Vivint Solar to design the system", ArsTechnica reports. 

Daimler has been trialling home battery solutions for several years and reused "old electric car batteries for grid-tied storage" to power German homes towards the end of 2015.

Meanwhile, Tesla recently announced plans to offer customers in the US roofs consisting of solar panels. The panels look identical to regular roof tiles and are used to charged Tesla's Powerwall 2 batteries. 

Mercedes system will be offered to buyers in California later this year. There's no word on a UK release date yet, but expect a full roll-out across the US before it reaches Europe.

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