GM enters the home and commercial energy storage business to compete with Tesla

GM head office, courtesy of BILL PUGLIANO

GM’s and Tesla’s businesses overlap in the EV domain, but the rivalry is getting deeper. The former is getting into the home and commercial energy storage and management business.

The Detroit-based automaker will diversify through a new unit, GM Energy, combining the Ultium Charge 360 (already existing) with newly formed Ultium Home and Ultium Commercial services.

The new entity will sell stationary storage batteries, solar panels, and hydrogen fuel cells.

Describing GM’s latest venture, Travis Hester, head of EV Growth Operations, mentioned the competition directly in an interview with Reuters, “We’re getting into the entire ecosystem of energy management. Our competition in this space on the (automaker) side is really only Tesla, which is a strong energy management company. There are a lot of analogies you can draw with Tesla.”

While famous for electric cars, Tesla manufactures and sells solar panels and battery energy storage devices. Its batteries have been deployed globally.

GM’s Home Service will sell wall boxes similar to Tesla’s Powerwall starting next year. The commercial arm will sell larger storage units, similar to Tesla’s Megapack. However, GM will provide microgrids powered by hydrogen fuel cells (HFCs), allowing its customers to sell energy to power companies.

The solar business will be in partnership with SunPower Corp.

Tesla is not resting on its laurels, as it is working on a new Megapack factory in the US.

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