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  1. #1
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    [EN] Mercedes-Benz Energy Storage enters the U.S. market

    The newly-formed M\ercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC will be headed by Boris von Bormann, the former CEO of the U.S. branch of German energy storage company Sonnen.

    The company's first offering will be a 2.5 kWh residential battery module that can be combined up to 20 kWh and used for backup power and solar self-consumption, according to a release.


    Julian Spector
    November 03, 2016

    We knew the Mercedes-Benz residential battery would be coming to the shores of America in early 2017. Now we know it will arrive with a whole new company.

    Parent company Daimler AG has created Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC to sell stationary storage of all sizes to the U.S. market. Like Tesla, this is a car company that developed electric vehicles (EVs) and then put its battery expertise to work in a stationary storage product.

    The Mercedes home batteries will also go head-to-head with fellow German emigrant Sonnen, a competition made all the more personal because Daimler hired Sonnen's former U.S. CEO, Boris von Bormann, to lead the effort. After three years of working on Sonnen's U.S. entrance, he's learned about the American appetite for storage and how to market to it, and now combines that experience with the resources and reputation of Mercedes-Benz.

    Energy Americas will act as the U.S. counterpart to Germany's Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH. Both companies develop and sell batteries made by Daimler's wholly owned subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive. This company has been manufacturing lithium-ion battery systems for Mercedes-Benz electric cars, so the batteries have seen rigorous testing and are built for much more intensive use than most stationary systems ever see.

    Mercedes isn't just dipping its tires into the electric mobility craze. By 2025, the company wants to sell 10 or more EV models, and it's investing 1 billion euros in scaling its battery production capacity. The company has bigger ideas than just cars, too -- it's envisioning an "electric mobility ecosystem" including automation, ride-sharing and home improvements like battery storage and EV chargers.

    The residential market will be an early focus for the fledgling U.S. enterprise. The metallic gray modular system looks like a home appliance, stacks from 2.5 kilowatt-hours up to 20 kilowatt-hours and comes with a 10-year warranty. That goes on sale the first quarter of next year, as will larger commercial packages. Mercedes is looking for channel partners to distribute and install the systems.

    Mercedes will also pursue utility-scale projects, and already has a contract to build a 1-megawatt containerized storage system to provide frequency regulation and demand response in PJM territory.

    Not in Germany anymore

    The residential battery will appear the same superficially after it crosses the Atlantic, but certain details will have to change.

    "With a German household, it's a very simplified sale," von Bormann said. "There is one tariff structure throughout Germany. The only use case is solar self-consumption."

    Germany's rooftop solar customers earn limited compensation for the solar they put back into the grid, due to declining feed-in tariffs. At the same time, the retail cost of electricity is quite high. These factors create a strong financial incentive for storing one's solar generation and using it throughout the day.

    A similar incentive exists in Hawaii and the Caribbean islands, but in most of the U.S., residential storage lacks such a clear value proposition. That requires a more tailored approach that identifies different use cases for different demographics: time-of-use shifting and demand-charge reduction, where appropriate rate structures apply; off-grid, for those who want it; backup power, for households that want a cleaner, quieter sense of security from blackouts; and demand response, where utilities are looking for distributed assets to assist those efforts.

    "You have to change your use cases, your software applications and your product applications to fit that market," von Bormann said.

    The typical American household consumes more power than its European counterpart, so battery sales in the U.S. will likely run larger and require more powerful inverters than in Germany. Mercedes-Benz will manufacture the U.S. products in Germany initially, and evaluate that approach based on product demand and availability.

    More crowded field

    The announcement adds one more player to the growing field of competitors vying for American energy consumers' affection.

    It also puts von Bormann in direct competition with former employer Sonnen, which focuses on residential batteries but also launched a commercial product this summer. There aren't any hard feelings, though, said Sonnen Director of Marketing Michelle Mapel. "It was an amicable departure," she said.

    The company had planned to phase out the U.S. CEO role after establishing a presence there, she added. The U.S. branch will now operate under the direction of Jannik Schall as U.S. Country Manager, but will report more directly to global CEO Christoph Ostermann.

    "This market is potentially massive, so there’s plenty of room for a lot of different products that serve different needs and give people options," Mapel said.

    For his part, von Bormann shared the optimism about peaceful coexistence. "We’ll see some smaller companies brought into larger companies or leave the market, but I really think there’s room for a few players to have significant market share."

    The evolution from electric-car maker to stationary storage provider suggests a similar profile to Tesla. New entrants to the market have to contend with Tesla's strong brand recognition -- it introduced a lot of consumers to the concept of energy storage -- and its scale of production.

    The production capacity expansion that Mercedes-Benz has undertaken is "similar to or even greater than" what Tesla is doing with the new Gigafactory in Nevada, von Bormann said. And brand recognition will be a competitive advantage for as old and established a company as Mercedes.

    "The storage market is still young, and there aren’t really many recognizable household names," said Brett Simon, an energy storage analyst at GTM Research who has studied the German and U.S. markets. "Someone like Mercedes-Benz, that's a name that people are familiar with."

    This benefit goes beyond lower customer acquisition costs. The company's staying power could lead to things like cheaper cost of capital for financing and greater consumer confidence in product warranties, especially in a field largely populated by young startups.

    "You're looking at a company that's been around since the late 1800s -- that’s quite a significant history," von Bormann said. "If I'd be putting an investment into my home or my business, I'd be looking for a company that I know will be there in five, 10, 15 years."

    Another distinguishing factor for Mercedes-Benz is the decision to pursue all three scales of battery: residential, commercial and utility. Most -- but not all -- competitors tackle one or two, like Stem or Sonnen. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz will be able to leverage cross-promotion with its car products.

    That all sounds good in theory. But success will ultimately rest on how the Mercedes batteries compete on price with the options already on the market, and just how much of a boon the existing customer loyalty and brand awareness proves to be.

    https://www.greentechmedia.com/artic...torage-company

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    PR: SOURCE Foundation of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC

    Nov 02, 2016

    STUTTGART, Germany and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Daimler AG is expanding its stationary energy storage business to the U.S. market. After this years' founding of the German Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH, a completely new subsidiary responsible for the development and global sale of Mercedes-Benz brand stationary energy storage, Daimler takes a further step towards growing the market. The newly established Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC is assuming the development and sales of stationary energy systems for residential, commercial and utility applications for the North-American market. Boris von Bormann, U.S. solar industry expert, has been selected as the CEO for the branch. System production will remain the core expertise of Daimler's wholly owned subsidiary, Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG. Working in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America in Sunnyvale, California, Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas will bring initial product offerings to the United States starting early 2017.

    With the growing electrification of transportation, demand for lithium-ion batteries is constantly rising. The stationary energy storage sector presents even more opportunities for growth. Daimler AG entered the stationary battery storage business in 2015 with its subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE GmbH & Co. KG, responsible for the development and production of highly complex drive batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz and smart brands. Especially with the establishment of the German Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH, in charge of the development and sale of stationary energy systems, Daimler AG has been continuously expanding its activities in this growth segment this year. With the foundation of the U.S.-based branch, Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas LLC, the company is consistently continuing its expansion and marks another step within the corporate strategy "CASE". "By founding Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, we are once again underscoring our ambition to be a technological and market leader in the field of highly efficient storage systems on a global scale," says Marc Thomas, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy GmbH in Germany. "At the same time, we are making an active contribution to the process of transition towards sustainable energy generation and continuing the success story of German-based battery production."

    The energy storage concept devised by Daimler Business Innovation provides for a variety of applications. The scalability of the systems allow for industrial application of lithium-ion batteries for network stabilization and smoothing of peak shaving for energy producers, as well as private households, for example in conjunction with photovoltaic installations. Developed for the demanding use in vehicles, the technology in Mercedes-Benz energy storage units meets the highest safety and quality requirements. The products are based on the same technology that Daimler has already used thousandfold in electric and hybrid vehicles since 2012.

    Mercedes-Benz energy storage products will enter the North-American market early 2017, starting with the launch of a modular residential product. Each battery module has an energy content of 2.5 kWh that can be combined up to 20 kWh and used in various applications such as back-up power and solar self-consumption. These will be sold through various channel partners. The systems will be followed by larger energy storage systems for commercial and industrial customers. Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas will work directly with a very diverse customer base to offer tailored solutions starting later in 2017. "Mercedes Benz Energy is uniquely positioned to not only offer solutions to the energy and storage market that will help utilities, businesses and home-owners save costs and solve needs, but also combine the advantages of electric vehicles and energy solutions into one holistic platform," says Boris von Bormann, CEO Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC.

    Mercedes-Benz creates electric mobility ecosystem for products and services: EQ – the new brand for electric mobility

    At the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new product brand for electric mobility: EQ. The EQ portfolio will encompass all future battery-electric cars as well as the associated products and services from Mercedes‑Benz. The concept vehicle EQ provides a concrete preview of a completely new generation of vehicles from Mercedes‑Benz. With a range of up to 500 kilometers and the typical Mercedes strengths such as safety, comfort, functionality and connectivity, the show car is forerunner of a new era. The product brand EQ is an elementary part of the corporate strategy for future mobility bundled under the term CASE. The goal is clear: by 2025, Mercedes‑Benz Cars aims to have over ten all-electric vehicles in its portfolio. To meet the growing demand for high-quality high-voltage batteries, Daimler is investing a total of one billion euros in the expansion of its global battery production network, with no less than 500 million euros flowing into the construction of a second battery factory at the ACCUMOTIVE site in Kamenz, Saxony. Established in 2009, Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE GmbH und Co. KG develops and produces highly complex drive batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles of the brands Mercedes-Benz and smart on the basis of lithium-ion technology. Moreover it is responsible for the production of Mercedes-Benz energy storage products.

    About CASE

    CASE – these letters will shape the future of Mercedes-Benz Cars. They stand for the strategic pillars of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric), which will be intelligently combined by the company. Already today, Mercedes-Benz Cars plays a leading role in all four areas. All activities in the area of connectivity are focused on the digital brand Mercedes me, which gives customers access to an extensive and personalized range of services by app, website or straight from their car. On the way to autonomous driving, Mercedes‑Benz has for years been a key driver of development and has repeatedly set the benchmark. To this end, the Mercedes engineers use so-called sensor fusion. The data from different sensors, such as cameras, ultrasound and radar, are intelligently combined and analyzed. With car2go the inventor of the automobile is also a pioneer when it comes to sharing. With around two million users, the company is today the world's biggest provider of free-floating car-sharing. As far as the electrification of the powertrain is concerned, Mercedes‑Benz is pursuing an integrated approach. Under the EQ brand, it is developing an ecosystem including not just the actual vehicle, but also a comprehensive offering around electric mobility. This extends from intelligent services to energy storage units for private and commercial customers as well as charging technologies, such as inductive charging, to sustainable recycling. To enable all four pillars to develop its full effectiveness, the relevant activities are being brought together in an independent entity.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...300356377.html

  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    Dec 2010
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    Mercedes-Benz launches new US storage arm with former Sonnen CEO von Bormann

    Gavin Bade
    Nov. 3, 2016


    Mercedes-Benz entered the stationary storage market last year in its native Germany, and now the venerated automaker is tapping another German storage expert to head its push into the U.S. stationary storage market.

    Boris von Bormann will lead the Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas after leaving Sonnen, which specializes in battery storage with peer-to-peer power trading capability.

    Mercedes said its proprietary battery technology will allow consumers of all sizes to smooth peak energy consumption, integrate distributed solar energy and access backup power during outages.

    "Developed for the demanding use in the vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz energy storage units meet the highest safety and quality requirements," the company said in a release. "They are based on the same technology that Daimler has already used thousandfold in electric and hybrid vehicles since 2012."

    In the release, von Bormann said that the Mercedes products will not only save consumers money, but "combine the advantages of electric vehicles and energy solutions into one holistic platform."

    That strategy puts the company in direct competition with residential storage companies like Sonnen and Tesla, which unveiled its own integrated solar roof and battery to combine with its electric vehicles last week.

    Neither Tesla nor Mercedes released operational specifications for their batteries like cycle life or degradation rates, so it remains unclear what type of performance homeowners can expect. But both offer warranties for their car batteries.

    Mercedes guarantees its EV batteries for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first, while Tesla offers an eight-year, "unlimited mile" warranty.

    A survey of Tesla owners by EV advocate Plug In America last year showed that the Model S generally loses about 5% of its capacity within the first 50,000 miles of driving, but the jury is still out on how its battery and others will perform as they near the end of their warranty periods. Those details are closely guarded by most storage companies.

    http://www.utilitydive.com/news/merc...borman/429496/

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