After the increase in the number of electric vehicles, where should discarded lithium batteries that have been discarded in large numbers go? Kia will use their retired batteries as energy storage aids to help get through the power shortage crisis.
Kia Europe has announced a new partnership with Encore Deutsche Bahn (encore DB) to create a scalable energy storage system using retired EV batteries, a prototype is already enabled in Germany using Kia Soul EV batteries.
With EV battery recycling becoming a key issue as electric vehicles become more commonplace, major manufacturers such as CATL and recycling specialists such as Redwood Materials have helped reduce and reuse precious metal feedstocks globally.
Kia's partner, encore DB, has been working with a number of companies to source used batteries and use them as energy storage solutions to give these retired batteries a new lease of life. Kia Europe has become the first mobility solutions provider to officially partner with encore DB, with the goal of expanding secondary-use automotive lithium batteries across Europe.
The current prototype battery storage facility, implemented at EUREF-Campus in Berlin, Germany, consists of 24 battery modules, 14 of which are cells removed from Kia Soul. These modules are combined to form a "mini-smart grid", which is essentially a grid that is intelligently connected with different energy sources. It can be imagined as a battery pack on another electric vehicle, maintaining the power balance of each battery at any time through the battery management system.
Energy storage systems can provide a more stable flow of energy, increase the use of renewable energy in a region, and reduce reliance on the overall grid. Kia and encore DB say the current energy storage prototype can provide 72 kWh of usable power to balance the grid, while also storing solar energy for later use.
encore DB believes that more energy storage systems can make solar and wind power generation more efficient across Europe. Kia is just the starting point for them, and will continue to expand more recycled battery energy storage systems.