Published on September 7th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


EV Battery Reuse Research Partnership Between BMW & Vattenfall Announced

September 7th, 2013 by  

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 tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • 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

  • 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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