Daimler takes on Tesla in the stationary battery market

May 29, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Through its battery subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive GmbH, carmaker Daimler AG is entering the battery market for homes and businesses. The company’s first stationary industrial scale lithium-ion energy storage system is already online, run by partner companies The Mobility House AG and GETEC Energie AG. In Germany as well as internationally, the carmaker is aiming at contracting sales partners.

Deutsche Accumotive (DA) has been established to develop and manufacture traction batteries for electric vehicles. To benefit from economies of scale, Daimler now offers these systems also to customers of stationary systems. Daimler’s competitor and cooperation partner Tesla (the powertrain for electric version of its B-series compact car is built by Tesla) recently announced to offer large battery systems for home energy storage applications.

For the consumer business with energy storage systems in Germany, Daimler plans to collaborate with utility EnBW AG; at the international level the company is still searching for partners. “With our comprehensive battery expertise at Deutsche Accumotive, we push forward the Energiewende (Germany’s policy to replace conventional and nuclear power through renewable energies) on the road as well as in the energy supply of homes and businesses. A technology that proved reliable on the road under the toughest environmental conditions such as heat and cold also has the best prerequisites for stationary deployment”.

DA, launched in 2009, develops, manufactures and sells complex battery systems for hybrid and battery electric vehicles of the brands Mercedes Benz and Smart. The market for stationary systems offers huge growth potential for the company.

The first industrial-scale energy storage system manufactured by DA is already integrated into Germany’s energy grid and operated by Coulomb, a joint venture of The Mobility House and GETEC. The energy stored in the system is marketed at the German energy exchange. With its offering, Coulomb aims at grid stabilisation and smoothing peak loads. The storage currently consists of 96 battery modules with a total capacity of 500 kWh.

The Mercedes Benz energy storage system is available in units of 2.5 kWh for homes and 5.9 kWh for industrial customers. The batteries for the home market can be combined in bundles of up to eight units; the commercial products are scalable at libitum.