10 Companies Selling Home Batteries
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Well over a year ago, we covered 3 startups to watch in the home battery industry. Since then there has been a great deal of movement in home batteries that prompted one of our lovely readers to suggest we take another look at what’s been happening. The outlook for the home battery industry is strong, with some predicting that the home battery industry will keep pace with rooftop solar for the next 12 years, with growth expected to create a $250 billion market by 2040. This growth will be fueled by increasing usage of solar energy solutions due to cheaper solar, increased market share of electric vehicles, and falling costs for lithium-ion batteries. Since we covered home battery producers in 2015, a number of large scale changes have come to the industry. Startups have disappeared, new ones have taken their place, and international corporations have announced their entrance into the market.
Let’s take a look at the top companies in the home battery industry that investors should be keeping an eye on.
Tesla has been a major fixture in the home battery industry since they launched the Tesla Powerwall. The launch of their Powerwall 1 in 2015 was met with much fanfare, and 40,000+ reservations for the device. In October 2016, the company announced their latest, much more powerful version, the Powerwall 2. Like the first, it is wall-mounted, but stores up to 14 kWh – over double the storage capacity of the first Powerwall. The upgrade means that most homes will only need one Powerwall to provide backup power for a full day, instead of two of its first generation.
At a price point of $5,500, with an installation and hardware fee of $1,500, the $7,000 out-the-door price point for the Powerwall 2 falls well below industry standards for the storage capacity that it provides. Installations for the Powerwall 2 start this month. With Tesla’s recent announcement of their new solar roof tiles project, Tesla is giving consumers more reasons than ever to consider in-home power storage.
Orison’s hope to become “the Nest of the energy industry” first caught the attention of tech publications in early 2016, when the company’s Kickstarter launched, raising $349,474. Orison received a lot of press for being one of the first home batteries to plug directly into an outlet, alleviating the need for expensive installation. Using the cloud to access their own network, Orison units automatically store energy when rates are low and use stored energy when rates are higher.
The company is currently accepting reservations at $100, with retail prices ranging from $1,200-$1,500 depending upon the model. Both the wall-mounted Orison Panel and the free-standing Orison Tower deliver 2.2 kWh storage. Although they have already missed their originally planned launch window, the company has kept backers and the community at large in the know with continued updates on various portions of the project.
Powervault was founded in 2012 by Sustainable Venture Development Partners and aims to provide “the most practical and affordable solar energy storage system.” To date, the company has accepted $2.2 million through seed funding and crowdfunding. Currently, the Powervault is only available to residents living in the UK, and the company has not yet announced plans for expansion. The Powervault box is about the size of the dishwasher, which is larger than the competition, but is designed to fit comfortably into any appliance nook.
Powervault offers lithium-ion batteries in 2.0 kWh, 4.0 kWh, and 6.0 kWh capacities, which is enough to run a few basic appliances, lower energy costs, or serve as short-term backup power during outages.
SimpliPhi, previously known as Optimized Energy Storage, is a company that has been building lithium ferrous phosphate batteries since 2002. The company has accepted $2.0 million through one round of equity funding in 2016. The PHI 3.4 Smart-Tech Battery is the most popular product SimpliPhi sells with a capacity of 3.44 kWh:
SimpliPhi states that their battery technology is the “safest, most environmentally benign lithium-ion chemistry available,” and poses no risk of thermal runaway or fire. The vast majority of batteries SimpliPhi sells are for off-grid applications, where people depend solely on the SimpliPhi batteries to store and discharge the power they generate from solar or other sources.
Historically, Panasonic has been a company that has their hands in many different industries at any given time, and the home battery industry is no exception. Panasonic currently offers their wall-mounted battery, the LJ-SK84A, to users in Australia, with announced plans to begin offering the device in Europe. The Panasonic LJ-SK84A weighs about 185 pounds and offers 8 kWh of energy storage.
Mercedes has made it clear that they will be focusing more heavily on electric vehicles moving forward. On the heels of their announcement of their Generation EQ electric SUV, expansion into the home battery industry seems like a natural path for the auto manufacturer.
Currently, the company offers their home battery, the Mercedes-Benz Energy Storage Home, to residents of Germany, with plans to expand the program internationally throughout 2017. Currently, each battery unit stores 2.5 kWh of energy, but users can sync up to eight units for a total capacity of 20 kWh. The Mercedes batteries are designed to provide power to electric cars, but can also be used to power appliances and other needs around the home.
ElectrIQ is a relatively new entry to the home battery industry that places a heavy focus on energy management. The company was founded in 2014 and first announced their product offering in early 2016. Their goal is to offer an all-in-one solution that reduces energy costs while promoting the usage of sustainable energy. To date, the company has accepted an undisclosed amount of funding.
The Palo alto-based company offers a 10 kWh lithium-ion battery, making it one of the largest single home battery units in production today, sitting comfortably between the Tesla Powerwall and Tesla Powerwall 2 in terms of storage capacity. The retail price for the unit is $13,000.
ElectricIQ stands out with their powerful backend system that gives users complete control over their energy management and makes recommendations for best use. ElectrIQ’s backend system allows users to manage settings for reserved power, rate arbitrage, solar storage, determining which appliances run through the system, and detailed data of all usage activity. The unit was originally slated for a late 2016 release but has been pushed back to an undisclosed date.
Another excellent example of a car manufacturer entering the home battery market in anticipation for a future that favors electric vehicles, Nissan announced their first at-home battery, the Nissan xStorage, in the 2nd quarter of 2016. The xStorage is available for $4,500 (includes installation), offering 4.2 kWh of energy storage.
When it was first announced, the xStorage was seen as a direct competitor to the Tesla Powerwall. While the storage capacity is lower than competitor’s like Tesla and Panasonic, the price point is much more manageable for your average residence. In late 2016, the company began taking pre-orders in Europe and announced that they would be broadening their 10-year-deal with Eaton and The Mobility House to facilitate expansion.
The base price of a 4 kWh unit is $9,950 before installation and includes backup power. Sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann has said that the product was designed for a variety of functions, including “various grid-tied functions — increasing household solar self-consumption, managing time-of-use, and supporting grid services.”
Sunverge was founded in 2009 with the goal of offering a home-based battery product that is not only an asset for the homeowner but utility companies as well. To date, the company has accepted $51.5 million through 2 rounds of equity funding.
Their products offer storage capacities that range from 7.7 kWh-19.4kWh, with several form factors available. Each model is UL-certified for indoor and outdoor use. Sunverge has designed their product to make community micro-grids more resilient, taking strain off of the grid during peak hours.
One area where Sunverge stands out is in the excellent software package that comes with any purchase of their product. The easy-to-use interface allows users to choose the best times to use stored energy, optimize the usage of solar energy, and provide in-depth data. Sunverge has claimed that some customers have been able to enjoy up to 80% average yearly savings using their product. A Sunverge unit can cost between $8,000 and $20,000 depending on size.
Update 08/08/2019: Sunverge has raised $11 million in funding to continue to expand and integrate its platform into core utility operations. This brings the company’s total funding to $65 million to date.
Today, the home battery market is still in its infancy. Tesla has been able to wrangle a majority of the spotlight with their innovative products. However, recent entrances into the industry, including automobile and tech industry giants like Mercedes, Panasonic, and Nissan show just how much potential the industry has for growth.
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