Mercedes-Benz partners with Vivint to sell solar energy storage

The German automaker takes the fight to Tesla on a second front.

Tesla has famously expanded its products and services to include home solar power, building upon its automotive battery expertise. Its Tesla Energy arm of operations provides the Powerwall for residential use, and now the company is taking orders for its solar roof tiles. Mercedes-Benz recently made a similar move, tacking the word "Energy" onto its brand name and using that branch to begin selling home battery systems in Germany. Now, Mercedes-Benz Energy has opened up shop in the US, partnering with Vivint Solar to sell and install complete residential solar energy systems.

Using road tested battery technology, Mercedes uses lithium-ion batteries in its stationary storage offerings. The 2.5-kWh batteries are modular, allowing customers to scale them to their individual needs up to 20 kWh. The system allows customers to store the energy generated from their solar panels, using it during peak hours to save on grid energy costs. It also serves as a backup in the case of an outage. Unsurprisingly, Vivint will first offer the Mercedes system in California before offering it in other states.

Back in Germany, Mercedes is investing heavily in its battery operations. Daimler will break ground later this month on a second battery factory, worth about $556 million, at the site of subsidiary Accumotive's production facility in Kamenz. With plans for 10 new electric vehicles in the next five years, plus the expansion of its energy storage operations, the German automaker looks ready to take the fight to Tesla on multiple fronts.

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