Deutsche Bahn, Kia to make energy storage systems from used EV batteries

Image by Deutsche Bahn AG.

September 12 (Renewables Now) - German railway operator Deutsche Bahn AG and South Korean carmaker Kia Corp (KRX:000270) will partner to make energy storage systems for green electricity from used electric car batteries.

As part of the cooperation, several lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, which have been already used, will be bundled and transformed into a powerful energy storage facility for green electricity, Deutsche Bahn said last week.

Such second-life battery storage systems could find various applications such as storing excess electricity from solar plants or distributing the power throughout the day at Deutsche Bahn's maintenance and supply plants. This is expected to reduce the cost of power peaks, the railway company noted.

Encore, a start-up owned by Deutsche Bahn, will be in charge of the process from the procurement of used batteries directly from Kia dealers to production. Batteries with sufficient residual capacity will be used as second-life battery storage devices, while those that cannot be used will be recycled. DB Schenker, the railway operator's logistics subsidiary, will take over the logistics chain.

Encore will start producing several hundred power storage systems in 2023. A pilot project has been in operation on the EUREF campus in Berlin since July 2022 with additional storage systems being built at various Deutsche Bahn locations, including the plant in Leipzig, the digital test centre in Saxony and the train station in the Zorneding municipality, Bavaria.

Batteries are the backbone of the ongoing electrification of mobility around the world and Encore has developed a solution to give old batteries a second life, said DB Schenker's Global Solution Manager E-Mobility Christian Moser.

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