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Mercedes-Benz and Vivint Solar partner to compete with Tesla in home energy

Mercedes-Benz Energy will combine home energy storage with Vivint solar panels in the U.S.

  • Will be available first to California homeowners in the second quarter.

  • Product is very similar to those offered by Tesla.

  • Part of Mercedes' larger electrification strategy.

Mercedes-Benz is partnering with U.S.-based Vivint Solar to compete with Tesla and similar companies in residential solar energy and storage.

Mercedes-Benz Energy will combine its 2.5 kilowatt-hour energy storage batteries with a Vivint's rooftop to make a combined product for homeowners.

"As Mercedes-Benz electrifies its vehicle fleet, solar plus storage is essential to enable those vehicles to be powered by clean energy," said Boris von Bormann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, in a press release. He added that a similar program has already been successful in Europe.

Costs will vary depending on the system, but a fully installed 2.5 kWh battery system, when paired with a solar energy system will cost about $5,000, according to a Vivint Solar spokesperson. A 20 kWh home energy storage system — made of several connected batteries —will cost about $13,000 fully installed.

The offering includes the complete package: batteries, inverter, all required technical components, professional installation, permitting, system design and consultation with Vivint Solar. The installation of the entire system, including the solar panels and the battery, typically takes one to two days, once permits are secured.

With the partnership, both companies will be able to provide a product offering similar to those that other firms are bringing to market.

Tesla in particular has touted the benefits of selling energy storage batteries with solar panels. The company has begun taking orders for its solar roof tiles, which can be connected to its Powerwall batteries.

But the news also comes at a time when some indicators have suggested slowdowns in the solar power business.

The Vivint/Mercedes program will begin rolling out in California in the second quarter, according to a press release.

"The choice to work with Mercedes-Benz Energy, a world-class innovator in energy storage, was an easy one," said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar, in the release. "We believe their energy storage system is going to delight our customers and are impressed with their ambitious plans for the future."

Mercedes has been moving quickly toward electrifying its vehicle fleet, and some have suggested the company could become a formidable competitor to Tesla, especially in luxury vehicles.

For, example, the German carmaker announced in March that it plans to speed up the debut 10 battery-powered cars by three years, from 2025 to 2022.

Vivint Solar is one of the three largest residential solar installers in the U.S., though it trails SolarCity, which Tesla acquired late last year.

as reported on

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