German vehicle OEM Daimler is opening an US arm of its energy subsidiary as it looks to break into one of the biggest and most congested energy storage markets in the world.
After founding Mercedes-Benz Energy, based in based in Kamenz/Saxony, Germany, earlier this year.
Daimler has now established Mercedes-Benz Energy America (MBEA).
Boris von Bormann, former boss at solar and ESS firm Sonnen batteries, has been named as the new company’s CEO.
The subsidiary will develop and sell Daimler’s lithium-ion stationary ESSs for the North-American market, starting in 2017 with the launch of a modular residential product.
Each 2.5 kWh module can be scaled up to 20 kWh and can be used in applications such as back-up power and renewable energy storage.
MBEA will follow this up with systems for the commercial and industrial customers.
System production will remain with Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG— Daimler’s wholly owned subsidiary set up in 2015 to allow it to enter the stationary battery storage business.
The firm’s energy storage units are based on the same technology Daimler has used in electric and hybrid vehicles since 2012.
MBEA will work in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America in Sunnyvale, California.
Marc Thomas, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy in Germany, said by founding MBEA the company was making an active contribution to the process of transition towards sustainable energy generation and continuing the success story of German-based battery production.
Von Bormann upped the hyperbole by saying Mercedes Benz Energy was uniquely positioned to combine the advantages of electric vehicles and energy solutions into one holistic platform.
Some forecasters predict the US energy storage market will reach 1.7GW by 2020— which may be wishful thinking as there was only 221MW deployed in the whole of 2015.
But with companies like Tesla, Panasonic and LG Chem (to name but a few) jumping on the bandwagon and governments introducing financial incentives to end users who knows how big the market could really become. Of course, that was pre-Donald Trump days.
What we know is Daimler is well placed, after all it works with German energy provider Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW), the solar energy specialist SMA and wholesalers to sell its domestic storage systems in Germany.
It has also formed a joint venture with The Mobility House AG and GETEC to operate the world’s largest 2nd use battery storage facility.