Germany’s Solarwatt, BMW unite on home batteries to boost electric mobility

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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The German photovoltaic (PV) company Solarwatt has announced that it will begin selling storage batteries in collaboration with luxury carmaker BMW as part of the ongoing convergence of renewable power and electric mobility.

Under the terms of the agreement, BMW will provide battery components for Solarwatt, which will develop and build PV storage products under the brand name Battery flex in Germany to complement rooftop solar installations.

Mr. Eric Hamm BMW Executive remarked that “we are delighted that, through our partnership with Solarwatt, we can make an additional positive contribution to bringing PV and electromobility closer together.”

As the cost of battery technology has decreased, it is becoming increasingly economical for householders to store surplus solar power to supply power plugs or heat water directly, instead of selling it to grid operators.

Solar power can also be used to supply heat pumps or charge electric cars, reducing global warming by replacing power generated by fossil fuel.

Solarwatt is investing $121.9 million until 2025, for example, on production lines and complementing Battery flex with intelligent software to regulate energy flows around the house, which will help cut costs and raise households’ self-sufficiency.

It will also offer installation, metering, insurance, and tax guidance, as well as widen sales channels. Solarwatt is majorly owned by Mr. Stefan Quandt, who owns nearly half of BMW with his sister Ms. Susanne Klatten.

Solarwatt’s rival Sonnen, which is part of Shell, presently leads the German battery market. According to Fraunhofer Institute data, the country’s solar power supply in the first quarter of 2021, at 7.24 terawatt-hours (TWh), held a 5.4 percent share of total power grid volumes.

Last year, Solarwatt sold 16,000 PV systems in Germany alone, reported a revenue of $146 million.

Related: Tesla to procure $1bn worth battery minerals from Australia per year