Not content with persuading us to have a 3-pointed star in the driveway, Mercedes-Benz is keen to have entire households run from its power plants… well, sort of.

Using expertise earned in developing hybrid and electric cars, the company has begun marketing “energy storage plants” for private use.

It’s a slightly different take on the idea of V2G – vehicle to grid. Instead of the vehicle itself feeding back electricity to the grid, the Mercedes concept uses only the battery componentry as a self-standing storage unit.

Mercedes-Benz says that its lithium-ion battery packs, developed for demanding service on board cars, meet the highest safety and quality standards. Up to eight battery modules with an energy content of 2,5 kWh can be combined into an energy storage plant with a capacity of 20 kWh, the company says. “Households with their own photovoltaic systems can thus buffer surplus solar power virtually free of any losses.”

The product is aimed at both domestic and industrial users; in fact, the first industrial-scale lithium-ion unit is already on the grid. In South Africa, with its creaking national power grid and ever more intrusive load shedding, this is the sort of thinking that is bound to attract attention from the many who are looking for ways to declare their independence from the grid.
The energy storage plants are being launched at the Intersolar trade-fair in Munich, Germany, from 10 to 12 June. They are sourced from a 100% Daimler susubsidiary, Deutsche Accumotive.
Daimler is also aiming to enter into co-operation with other sales and distribution partners, both in Germany and globally.
Accumotive develops, produces and markets sophisticated lithium-ion drive batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles marketed by Mercedes-Benz and Smart. Its entry into the new business field of stationary energy storage plants is seen as a, er, smart business move that will provide fresh opportunities for growth. “At the same time, Daimler AG is making an active contribution to the process of transition towards sustainable energy generation and continuing the success story of German-based battery production,” the company says.