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Batteries BMW Group

Published on September 7th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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EV Battery Reuse Research Partnership Between BMW & Vattenfall Announced



Originally published on EV Obsession.

BMW GroupBMW Group and Vattenfall have reportedly partnered up to jointly conduct research on the secondary use of high-voltage EV batteries from the MINI E and BMW ActiveE.

The BMW release is in German, and Google doesn’t to the best job of clearly translating this one, but Mike Millikin of Green Car Congress summarizes/translates it thus:

The focus of the partners is the use of second-life EV packs for caching power at fast charging stations and solar installations, and also large installations for grid stabilization.

Even after the end of their life cycle in an electric vehicle, EV batteries still have a storage capacity of around 80%, the partners noted—enough to be used as a stationary buffer memory even over many years.

I’ll take his word for it.

Of course, the secondary use of EV batteries is very logical (note the 80% statistic above), and others have been researching and testing such use.

I can’t see the world not going this route when it comes to “used up” EV batteries.

Something important to keep in mind, of course, is that such batteries retain a decent monetary value if the can be used for grid our household storage. So, while an EV owner may need to replace his battery every 8 years or so, that doesn’t mean the battery being retired is no longer worth anything. Unfortunately, determining that financial worth to the consumer is a challenge, making EV versus gasmobile cost comparisons that much more challenging.


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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Iceventure

    It is an interesting approach, but around for a while. Saw plans in connection with remote energy production locations. There are a couple of technical
    issues since usage cases are different. Besides that, there are a number of
    business related issues how to set up the business model. Key problems are
    asset cost benefit distribution among the various users and the replacement
    case. For readers interested in details you might find this article
    interesting: http://www.iceventure.de/Blog/Business-Development/Business-model-aspects-of-battery-leasing-and-secondary-utilization.html

  • Marion Meads

    Told you so Bob Wallace!

    • Bob_Wallace

      You told me what?

      BTW, I hope people realize that second use for EV batteries is an old idea. Plans were developed years ago and utilities are standing by, waiting for the first generation of “used down to 80% capacity” EV batteries.

      • Iceventure

        In fact it is one of the real problems of low ecar’s sales figures. In my view one should think about these complexities in a major systemic shift upside down. Could the grid case decrease EV battery costs is one of my favorite theses.

  • Matt

    It is too soon to know what the market for used EV battery will be, but not hard to guess there will be one.

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