Venturi Automobiles has started a crowdfunding campaign to help break an EV speed record. Venturi's goal, with the help of The Ohio State University, is to set a new FIA World Speed Record for Battery Powered Electric Vehicles of over 7000 pounds with its VBB-3. Venturi set the current record at 307 miles per hour, but wants to exceed that this September at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Funders can score merchandise like T-shirts, miniature models, and even their name on the side of the car. Learn more at Venturi Automobiles' Kickstarter page.

Kia is providing six Soul EVs to UC Irvine's Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP). APEP is using the electric vehicles for the development of vehicle-to-grid technology and smart charging systems. Kia says the collaboration is helpful in its goals of expanding EVs over the next five years. "Grid-connected electric vehicles offer tremendous potential in terms of energy storage and dispersion during high-demand periods," says Kia VP of Product Planning Orth Hedrick, "and Kia is excited to collaborate with APEP in the study and development of advanced smart grid technologies." Read more from Kia, or at Green Car Congress.

Daimler is launching its Mercedes-Benz Energy brand for stationary energy storage. Taking on the likes of Tesla with its Powerwall, Daimler began shipping battery packs for residential energy storage in Germany in April, with an eye toward solar systems. Now, with its new brand, the company looks to expand to the global market. "By founding Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH, we are underscoring our ambition to be a technological and market leader in the field of highly efficient storage systems," says Daimler's Harald Kröger. "With our unique combination of high standards of quality and safety and positive economies of scale, we are supporting the success of the new energy era while helping to make electromobility affordable." Read more in the press release below.

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Daimler Establishes Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH for Stationary Energy Storage

Daimler AG is continuing to expand its network of expertise in the field of lithium-ion battery applications. Within this innovative line of business, the newly established Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH is assuming the development and global sale of Mercedes-Benz brand stationary energy storage with immediate effect. Thus, Daimler is focusing even more on the growing market for stationary batteries. The production of the systems remains the core expertise of Daimler's other wholly owned subsidiary, Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG. "This now enables us to respond with even greater flexibility to our customers' requirements," said Harald Kröger, Head of Development Electrics/Electronics and E-Drive at Daimler AG.

With the growing electrification of the automobile, demand for lithium-ion batteries is constantly rising. By expanding this line of business to include stationary private and industrial applications, Daimler AG with its wholly owned subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG already opened up additional prospects for growth last year. Delivery of domestic storage solutions for the German market started in April. Work also started on setting up the first large-scale industrial projects in the field of primary regulation energy. With the establishment of Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH based in Kamenz/Saxony, the company is now taking another step toward expanding the stationary storage business. International expansion and collaboration with further partners are particularly high on the agenda.

Greater flexibility thanks to increased focus

Mercedes-Benz Energy relies on close collaboration with its associated companies. ACCUMOTIVE will produce both the stationary and automotive storage systems. The development, sale and installation of stationary applications are the responsibility of Mercedes-Benz Energy. The partnership promises more rapid growth for both lines of business.

Establishing a separate entity provides greater flexibility for the stationary storage business. This is particularly advantageous when it comes to contact with customers, since the customer base for Mercedes-Benz energy storage solutions is very diverse in comparison to the automotive division. It ranges from private households to large-scale industry. "The new focus allows us to react with even greater flexibility to our customers' requirements, and to expand our product portfolio as necessary," said Mr. Kröger.

It also allows ACCUMOTIVE to focus on developing automotive applications going forward. "With ACCUMOTIVE, we have built up outstanding expertise in the field of highly efficient battery systems. Their products are already in use in a wide range of our vehicle models. ACCUMOTIVE will successively supply all of our model series from 2017," said Mr. Kröger.

Center for highly efficient battery systems

Following the recent announcement of a doubling in production floor space with an investment of EUR 500 million, Daimler AG's battery facility in Kamenz is now being reinforced further still. In addition to the production facilities of ACCUMOTIVE, Mercedes-Benz Energy will now also be based at the location in Saxony which was opened in 2010. A total of 330 people are currently employed at the Kamenz facility. Mercedes-Benz Energy is starting with 50 employees, and wants to increase this figure to 100 as soon as the end of 2016. The plan is to double the workforce again to 200 by the end of 2017. The management of the company is being assumed on 1st July 2016 by Marcus Thomas, who has many years of experience in the field of conventional and alternative drive systems at Daimler AG.

Reinforcing the network of expertise through partnerships

In addition to constantly expanding the Kamenz facility, Daimler AG is aiming to achieve strong partnerships within the group and with external parties. The company works with partners such as the energy provider Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW), the solar energy specialist SMA and certain wholesalers in order to sell the domestic storage systems in Germany. A strong network is also already in place in the field of industrial applications. A joint venture between Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC will soon operate the world's largest 2nd use battery storage facility and market its services on the German primary regulation energy exchange. The partners in the joint venture are also receiving support from the recycling specialist Remondis GmbH. Daimler AG is also in a project-based partnership with the energy provider enercity (Stadtwerke Hannover AG).

As a next step, Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH will also start selling its battery storage products at an international level. For the development and sale of the storage systems, the company relies on a strong partnership with Mercedes-Benz entities in other countries including the think tank Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America in Silicon Valley, California.

From car to grid: Batteries have proven their worth a thousand times over

Developed for the demanding use in the vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz energy storage units meet the highest safety and quality requirements. They are based on the same technology that Daimler has already used around 75,000 times in electric and hybrid vehicles since 2012. "By founding Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH, we are underscoring our ambition to be a technological and market leader in the field of highly efficient storage systems," said Mr. Kröger. "With our unique combination of high standards of quality and safety and positive economies of scale, we are supporting the success of the new energy era while helping to make electromobility affordable."

Up to eight battery modules with an energy content of 2.5 kWh each can be combined into an energy storage system with up to 20 kWh. Scalability is many times greater in the field of industrial applications.

Mercedes-Benz Energy presents itself at the ees Europe

Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH and Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG are presenting their products at the electrical energy storage (ees) Europe trade fair in Munich from June 22 to June 24, 2016. The subsidiaries have a joint stand in hall B1.530 at Europe's largest trade fair for batteries and energy storage systems.


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