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Mercedes-Benz to power your house

The used batteries from Mercedes EVs will eventually be powering your house, with the German brand rolling out a second-life program for its lithium-ion batteries to combat rival Tesla's Powerwall.

With EV batteries no longer suitable for use in cars once they degrade to 80 per cent of their original capacity - a process that can take as few as eight years - the premium manufacturer is investigating ways to use these still potentially very useful power-storage devices outside of the vehicle.

One solution, delivered through the Mercedes-Benz Energy company formed in 2016, is to recycle used car batteries into power storage for residential and commercial buildings.

Boris von Bormann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy, explains that what he calls "second-life batteries" are useful for stationary storage, with current technology ensuring one vehicle's battery bank would be able to supply the energy needs for one average-sized house.

Mercedes is also planning to distribute the used batteries to its under-development fast-charging network, meaning drivers would be recharging their cars from batteries, rather than the grid.

“Stationary storage needs are for mostly renewable energy, so managing the intermittency and the time when renewable energies are produced - things like wind, solar, and others - so that way it can be distributed when it's actually needed,” Bormann said.

“We're also looking at the automotive side, you probably need energy storage next to fast chargers, so that you have enough energy at that site or to mitigate some of the demand spikes.

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