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Employing used car batteries to ‘drive progress’

Germany – Electromobility and power storage are two core elements in the move towards alternative forms of energy. And a special project bringing together car manufacturer BMW, Bosch and Swedish utility Vattenfall is designed to ‘drive progress on both technologies’ by interconnecting used batteries from electric vehicles to form a large-scale energy storage system.

Batteries from BMW′s ActiveE and i3 electric vehicles will be supplied to the alliance, dubbed Second Life Batteries. Meanwhile, Vattenfall has agreed to operate the massive storage system at its site for a period of 10 years. Meanwhile, Bosch is in charge of integrating the batteries and managing the system, energy from which will be ′available within seconds′.

The Second Life Batteries installation will consist of 100 electric-car battery packs but should be compact enough to fit inside a small building. The partners are aiming for an output of 2 MW and storage capacity of 2 MWh – enough to power 30 four-person homes for seven days. It will become part of an existing Vattenfall virtual power plant, enabling the partners to combine various small, decentralised power generating systems and to market them as a shared power plant. The three partners expect the facility to be operational by the end of 2015.

′The project is important because it combines two strategically significant goals,′ comments Bosch′s ceo Dr Volkmar Denner. ′In electromobility, we see a future mass market accompanied by many new business models and solutions. Stationary energy storage systems that enable people to continue making good use of used batteries are part of this. Such decentralised storage systems allow us to make a major contribution to a secure power supply.′

For more information, visit: www.bmw.com

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