Homeowners in Germany will be able to rent a home solar array, an electric vehicle, and battery for a single, monthly flat rate, under a new e-mobility plan introduced last week by Bavarian energy storage company Sonnen.
“The monthly fee for the PV array and the battery will be on par with households’ conventional electricity bills, and the car will cost an additional fee depending on the type of vehicle, starting at €250 per month,” Clean Energy Wire reports, citing a Sonnen news release. “The company currently has 40,000 clients in Germany and said it expects that 30% of new clients will opt for an electric car next year.”
The company’s existing customers will also be allowed to add EVs to their contracts.
“Sonnen is the first supplier to attempt to establish decentralized electricity production on a large scale,” said Tobias Struck, head of the storage division for WEMAG, a regional utility in northern Germany. “He added that a company that managed to build up a large community with more than half a million households would have a considerable advantage on the power market because it can offer lucrative grid services,” Clean Energy Wire notes, citing a report in die Welt. Auto industry specialist Achim Teichert added that EVs are ideal for a subscription model because of their low maintenance costs.When colossal fossil Royal Dutch Shell acquired Sonnen in February 2019, analysts saw a big opportunity for the battery-maker to extend its reach. “Shell manages a full stack of energy services, including generation, trading, and customer relationships,” and “could integrate energy storage with a number of other services,” Greentech Media wrote at the time. “The backing of Shell could propel Sonnen to new scale and customer awareness as it competes with Tesla’s Powerwall and LG Chem’s Resu for customers that want to control their home energy.”