Mercedes-Benz batteries power Port Coquitlam clean tech company

photo supplied Simon Fraser University

After the car stops rolling the power keeps pumping.

That’s the idea behind a recently announced deal that has Mercedes-Benz Energy supplying electric vehicle batteries to Port Coquitlam-based Moment Energy.

Generally, an EV battery has about 80 percent of its original capacity when the car leaves the road. Moment Energy can then harvest that capacity, essentially harvesting the leftover charge to power remote communities.

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After keeping the relationship with the luxury automaker under wraps, Moment Energy co-founder Sumreen Rattan said the time was right to make the announcement.

“The past year we’ve basically been in R&D mode,” she said. “Now that we’re ready to capitalize and sell the product, we thought it made sense for customers to know where the batteries are coming from.”

Moment Energy is currently working with God’s Pocket Resort on Hurst Island to reduce the off-the-grid community’s reliance on diesel generators by introducing two 60-kilowatt-hour energy storage systems that use Mercedes batteries.

The clean tech company is also looking to work within the grid, Rattan added, explaining the possibilities of working to reduce the energy demands of industrial facilities.

The idea is that, instead of paying for a spike in energy use when turning on the lights and manufacturing lines at the beginning of the day, the company could tap into a battery system to reduce reliance on the grid.

The Mercedes deal marks the automaker’s first agreement with a North American second-life energy storage system provider, according to the announcement.

“Together with Moment Energy we will enable sustainable [energy storage system]-solutions for North America based on second-life batteries,” stated Mercedes-Benz Energy CEO Gordon Gassmann in a press release.

Space concerns

After starting out with four employees in January 2021, Moment Energy now has 29 workers, Rattan said. That expansion may require a move from their spot on Broadway Street in Port Coquitlam, she said.

“We have gotten to the point where we’re at full capacity with our current place,” she said.

Finding a space in Metro Vancouver suitable for their needs has been a challenge, Rattan said, adding that she’d like to see more support from B.C. municipalities.

Heading to eastern Canada or setting up shop in the United States could mean lower lease rates, opportunities to work with local universities and grant funding, according to Rattan.

Related: Port Coquitlam startup looks to take charge of EV battery business

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