Kia Is Reincarnating Old EV Batteries As Energy Storage Systems For Buildings


Kia has partnered with Germany’s national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, to turn old EV batteries into static storage systems, and has just unveiled its first project in Berlin.

Encore, a Deutsche Barn-backed startup conceived to repurpose old electro-mobility batteries, used multiple batteries from Kia Soul EVs to create a second-life storage system capable of proving 72 kWh of power to Berlin’s EUREF-Campus, a hub for people working in the energy conservation field.

The batteries were collected from Kia dealers and transported to Deutsche Bahn’s dismantling partner, which stripped them to a modular level for diagnostic testing, before reassembling them as a static storage unit. The EUREF-Campus system consists of 24 battery modules arranged over three racks, each model made up of 14 double cells.

Static storage units are set to become increasingly common as homes and businesses seek to find ways to preserve energy from solar, wind, and wave power that isn’t always needed at the time it’s generated, and can’t currently be easily stored. And second-life storage systems are also a convenient answer to the question of what to do with the huge number of EV batteries the world is going to have to dispose of in the coming years.

Related: Skoda To Use Second-Hand EV Batteries For Powering Up Its Retailer Network

Although EV batteries might suffer degradation that reduces their range to as little as 50 miles (82 km) and means they’re no longer suitable to power an EV, they could still be put into work in a domestic or industrial setting.

“With our success in the electrification of Kia models, we also take responsibility for the batteries beyond their lifetime in the car,” Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe said of the scheme. “The pioneering partnership between Kia and Encore DB shows that we regard batteries as a valuable resource in terms of a sustainable circular economy.”


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