Repurposing used EV batteries as stationary storage is an elegant solution to several problems. Once a Li-ion battery has served for several years in a vehicle, it may not retain its youthful strength, but it still has plenty of storage capacity for applications such as stabilizing the power grid and/or storing the intermittent power from renewable sources.
BMW, Bosch and European utility Vattenfall have joined together to launch the Second Life Batteries Alliance, which aims to offer used battery packs from BMW’s Active E test fleet and its new i3 and i8 a productive retirement.
The first step is building a 2 mWh storage system in Hamburg, Germany, which will be used to balance out short-term fluctuations in the power grid. Operated by Vattenfall, the facility contains some 100 BMW batteries, and uses a battery management algorithm devised by Bosch to maximize battery life. The partners expect it to be operational by the end of 2015.
“The project is important because it combines two strategically significant goals,” says Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner. “In electromobility, we see a future mass market accompanied by many new business models and solutions. Stationary energy storage systems that enable people to continue making good use of used batteries are part of this. Such decentralized storage systems allow us to make a major contribution to a secure power supply.”