Daimler AG has announced that it plans to make good use of old batteries from electric and plug-in hybrid cars by recycling them to create massive power storage systems.
The first of these storage facilities, designed for commercial use, will be the largest one in the world to be powered by electric vehicle batteries and will be connected to the electrical grid in Lunen, Germany, according to Ars Technica. The energy generated in the area will be stored and could be given back to the grid in case of an incident like the sources going offline due to weather or equipment failure, preventing energy fluctuation in the process.
The German automotive firm said in a press release that customers with electric cars will receive a battery life of up to 10 years, depending on which model they own.
"However, the battery systems are still fully operational after this point, as the low levels of power loss are only of minor importance when used in stationary storage," Daimler added. "It is estimated that the unit can operate efficiently in a stationary application for at least another ten years."
The first "2nd use battery storage unit" will be made up of 1,000 smart electric drive vehicle batteries and have a capacity of 13 million watt hours (MWh), Computerworld reported. The facility is set to go online in early 2016.
Daimler isn't working on this project on its own, as it will receive help through a joint venture with battery-to-grid integrator The Mobility House AG, energy service provider GETEC and recycling company REMONDIS.
The Mercedes-Benz maker said that its subsidiary Accumotive will reprocess about 1,000 old lithium-ion batteries and wire them into groups of 46, Ars Technica noted. Each group will provide 600 kWh of energy.
The facility will provide not only a purpose for old electric car batteries, but also the opportunity to save money in the EV market by adding another revenue stream, according to Computerworld.
"With their 2nd-use battery storage project in Lunen, the four partners are proving that the lifecycle of a plug-in or electric vehicle battery does not end after its automotive application," Daimler said.
Daimler isn't the only company building this kind of system, as Tesla announced its home and commercial battery storage system called the Powerwall earlier this year, and General Motors unveiled five sets of battery installations this past summer that use old batteries from Volt cars.