- Mercedes-Benz has decided to halt production of its residential energy storage system about a year after its launch. The batteries were too expensive and company officials say they were "overdesigned."
- Electric vehicle manufacturers have recently attempted to move into the stationary storage space. After Mercedes-Benz launched its product to compete with Tesla's energy storage, Audi and Nissan also announced projects aimed at the residential sector.
- Signs point to a growing interest from consumers in energy storage. A recent report from EnergySage found that about three-quarters of solar panel shoppers surveyed in 2017 said they were also considering a home battery system.
The Mercedes-Benz announcement reveals that electric vehicle manufacturers may not be able to easily move into the residential storage space simply because both segments use large batteries.
A spokesperson for the car company told Greentech Media that the residential battery systems were overbuilt, engineered to move a car rather than power a house. "It’s not necessary to have a car battery at home: They don’t move, they don’t freeze ... It's overdesigned," Mercedes-Benz's Madeleine Herdlitschka told GTM.
Around 90% of residential solar installations do not have an energy storage component. GTM Research predicts that the market for U.S. residential storage will grow fourfold in 2018. The firm recorded 19 MW of residential energy storage installations in 2017 and expects to see 74 MW this year.
The market may be ripe, but so far the biggest name remains Tesla. The company offers its Powerwall battery in conjunction with solar panels installed by its SolarCity subsidiary.
Vivint Solar, another residential solar installer, was the first provider to offer and install Mercedes-Benz Energy Storage in the United States.
In January, Audi launched a pilot project in the Ingolstadt area of Germany and the Zurich region of Switzerland, combining rooftop solar panels, stationary energy storage and electric vehicle charging stations for grid management. Around the same time, Nissan announcement of a program that offers U.K. customers an integrated package of solar panels and a battery storage system.
This story has been updated to correct the year of the EnergySage survey.