AUTOS:Following Tesla, Daimler enters the at-home battery space
Published: Thursday, June 11, 2015

Last summer, Tesla Motors Inc., in a move meant to stimulate improvements
in electric vehicle technology and an expansion of the sector, made its
patents free to outsiders.

Since then, Toyota Motor Corp., Hyundai Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. have
opened up alternative fuel patents, too, and Audi AG announced plans in
February to buy patents from Ballard Power Systems, a fuel cell producer.

Two days ago, Daimler AG, the corporate parent of Mercedes-Benz and Smart,
unveiled a product that again has Tesla looking like an automotive
tastemaker -- a residential and commercial electric battery.

Customers can now order Mercedes-Benz's "private energy storage plants,"
knee-high silver towers each with 2.5 kilowatt-hours in electric storage

The company will present the batteries at the Intersolar trade show in
Munich today and Friday, Daimler said in a statement

Deliveries are set to begin in September, and Daimler has not revealed a
price or name for the electric units.

Daimler said Tuesday that owners can combine up to eight batteries, which
will be available for "companies and private households," into a 20-kWh

In May, Tesla announced a similar electric battery system, the Powerwall, a
sleek lithium-ion block that buyers can mount on their walls, as well as
the Powerpack, 100-kWh batteries for utilities (*ClimateWire*
<>, May 1). Owners
will be able to stack as many as nine Powerwalls.

The Powerwall comes in 7- and 10-kWh versions, for $3,000 and $3,500,
respectively, which doesn't include installation costs.

"I think it's fascinating to see this development," Karl Brauer, a senior
analyst with Kelley Blue Book, said in a call about the Daimler battery.

As photovoltaic systems drop in price, become easier to install and
maintain, and get more energy efficient, car and battery companies are
going to scramble into the power storage business, he said.

In October, Daimler sold the last of its 4 percent stake in Tesla. At the
time, the company said it would continue to purchase electric batteries
from Tesla for its 87-mile-range B-Class plug-in electric car. Mercedes
offers its own at-home charging stations.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk told shareholders this week the company
will double the "power output" of the Powerwall (*ClimateWire*
<>, June 10).

"Batteries are going to be huge," Brauer said. "I think you're going to
keep seeing this come up," he said, adding that if Musk, through Tesla or
otherwise, can profitably produce batteries, "that could dwarf anything he
could come up with related to cars."

To search list archives

To Unsubscribe or change delivery options go to:

Reply via email to