DETROIT, Oct 11 (Reuters) – General Motors Co ( GM.N ) is expanding beyond making cars, with plans to provide energy storage and management services to residential and commercial customers through a new GM Energy unit in a move it plans to make. . major competition with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).
GM Energy will integrate its Ultium Charge 360 public charging service with two new units, Ultium Home and Ultium Commercial, that will offer stationary storage batteries, as well as solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells, the company said Tuesday. .
“We’re getting into the whole energy management ecosystem,” GM CEO Travis Hester said in an interview.
“Our competition in this space on the (automaker) side is really only Tesla, which is an energy management company,” added Hester, who heads EV Growth Operations. “There are many analogies you can draw with Tesla.”
Tesla’s seven-year-old power generation and storage business, which includes solar panels and stationary batteries, lost $129 million last year on revenue of $2.8 billion.
Hester said GM sees an affordable market of $120 billion to $150 billion for energy storage and management. He declined to provide an estimate of GM Energy’s earnings.
Ultium Home Service will offer stationary wall boxes, similar to Tesla’s Powerwall units, with sales and installations scheduled to begin in late 2023, the time of the launch of the first Chevrolet Silverado EV trucks aimed at private customers.
As Ford Motor Co (FN) is doing with its F-150 Lightning, the Silverado EV will have bi-directional capability, meaning it will be able to restore electricity to the home during a power outage.
GM’s commercial service will provide the same capability to businesses, using large stationary storage units and microgrids connected to hydrogen fuel cells developed by the automaker. Businesses will also be able to sell energy back to utilities during peak energy use.
GM will team up with SunPower Corp ( SPWR.O ) to supply consumers with solar panels to boost energy production.
“This is our new place,” Hester said. “We have advanced capabilities in vehicles and batteries, in cell chemistry and scale manufacturing. Put that together with our expertise in fuel cells, our dealer network, what we’ve been doing with OnStar and integration, and it seems like a clear step for us.”
Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit Editing by Marguerita Choy
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