Vehicle manufacturer Daimler AG is investing €100 million to expand its Li-Ion battery manufacturing capacity through its subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive GmbH and Co. KG. Deutsche ACCUmotive was founded in 2009 to supply Li-Ion batteries for Daimler’s vehicles which currently include the Smart EV and hybrid variants of the S-, E- and C-Class Mercedes-Benz. The investment will include the expansion of its factory to four times the 2011 footprint which has already delivered 50,000 batteries. The expansion of Daimler’s battery production capacity also marks a move into the growing stationary energy storage market.
- Daimler AG is investing €100 million to increase Li-Ion manufacturing capacity for use in its electric vehicles (EV).
- It Intends to significantly increase its activities in the stationary energy storage market.
- Source: Daimler Expands Manufacturing Capacities for Lithium-Ion Batteries
The entrance of Daimler into the stationary energy storage market marks another high profile entrant into this industry, with significant manufacturing expertise and scale. The grid-connected energy storage market continues to be a strategic focus for future growth for a wide range of companies. The automotive giant joins other entrants that are primarily focused on the automotive industry, including US-based Tesla.
Daimler’s chosen battery technology is Li-ion, which dominates the automotive industry. IHS also predicts that Li-ion will account for the majority of grid-connected energy storage installations, due to its versatility, energy density and high potential for cost reduction. This is also boosted by the significant volumes of investment that are being made in R&D and manufacturing advancements.
The principal barrier to wide-scale adoption of stationary energy storage is the current high cost of storage technologies. Increasing volumes to maximise economies of scale is critical for Li-Ion cost reduction, therefore Daimler is hoping to maximise its manufacturing volumes by serving both the automotive and stationary energy storage markets.
IHS anticipates that Daimler AG will primarily focus on its domestic market of Germany in the early stages of its market entry. The market in Germany is currently centred around small behind-the-meter storage systems that are paired with residential PV systems to increase self-consumption (the typical size of these systems is also comparable to the batteries that Daimler currently produces for its EVs). This is due to the subsidy which is offered to promote such systems, and the high retail electricity price (~€0.30/kWh). IHS forecasts that the German residential PV energy storage market will grow to 74 MW (of PV installations) in 2016, up from 5 MW in 2012 and 26 MW in 2013.
More analysis from IHS: Energy Storage in PV Report - 2014