When Tesla, the American pioneer in the electric car market, announced in April that it was entering the business of stationary energy storage systems, its market value increased by $2 billion (€1.83 billion).
When German automaker Daimler announced similar plans on Thursday, its share price declined by more than 1 percent.
While the differences in shareholder behavior are hard to explain, the two projects are comparable in many ways. Both involve solving the problem that opponents of solar energy have always waved in the face of sun-power advocates: the question of “what happens when the sun doesn’t shine?”
The energy storage units now being sold by Tesla and Daimler could solve the problem, by storing energy during peak times and releasing it when it is needed, regardless of whether the sun is shining.
The manufacturers hope to see high demand in the United States, with its ailing power grid that is often overloaded in the summer months.