A marriage between solar energy, power storage, electric vehicles, and smart energy has become the clear future of clean energy, and every major company in the renewable energy sector is developing integrated strategies in their attempts to out-compete their rivals.
Vivint Solar (NYSE:VSLR) is laying out its own plan, which includes offering solar panels, energy storage, EV charging, and smart energy management solutions. And it's pursuing deals with the biggest names in energy to be its partners.
Vivint and the biggest charging network in the world
Case in point: On Tuesday, Vivint Solar announced a partnership with ChargePoint, operator of the largest electric-vehicle charging network in the world. ChargePoint Home chargers will be integrated with Vivint Smart Home and energy storage solutions, allowing Vivint to offer customers an entire energy ecosystem.
Vivint Solar said in its press release that the charger will deliver 25 miles of range to EVs per hour, easily charging a vehicle to full capacity overnight. But the real news is that Vivint Solar is now controlling EV charging and giving customers a way to charge cars with clean energy.
Adding to another big announcement
The ChargePoint deal dovetails with Vivint Solar's deal with Mercedes-Benz Energy earlier this year to bring energy storage into the home. Its energy storage system includes 2.5 kWh batteries that can be combined to offer 20 kWh of energy storage -- enough to supply about two-thirds of the daily power needs of the average U.S. home.
Smart energy management will allow customers to the maximize value of their solar and EV systems. Here's how the system is described in Tuesday's press release:
Without any effort from the consumer, the battery system intelligently delivers energy to the home depending on electricity rates, and provides a backup power source for the home if the grid goes down. An integrated energy management system from Vivint Smart Home uses artificial intelligence to help customers further reduce their energy usage.
How will customers want to buy advanced energy solutions?
Vivint Solar is bringing together technology from different companies to create an advanced energy product it can sell to customers. The question is whether or not customers will prefer that multiple-brand, piecemeal approach to competing single-source solutions from the likes of Tesla or SunPower. Those companies' offerings are fully integrated from the solar panel to the inverter -- and even the EV charger, in Tesla's case.
Time will tell what the average consumer wants from an advanced energy system. For now, though Vivint Solar is offering all the right products; it just needs to get the functionality and sales channel right.