Kia Europe has established a new partnership with Encore Deutsche Bahn to build sustainable energy storage systems. As part of Kia’s global strategic focus on sustainability, the two firms will recycle used EV batteries in “Second Life” battery energy storage systems, according to electrek.
The automaker’s European project has already begun with the prototype, which was put into use in Germany utilizing Kia Soul EV batteries.
It is worth noting that in order to achieve zero emissions and carbon neutrality across all of its companies, Kia, a subsidiary of the Hyundai Motor Group, has completely adopted electrification.
Aside from this, Kia and Hyundai Motor Group have also invested in cutting-edge technology like robotics and autonomy to advance sustainable transportation.
Nonetheless, recycling EV batteries is a significant obstacle to be addressed as EV uptake keeps growing. Major manufacturers like CATL and recycling experts like Redwood Materials are already assisting in the reduction and reuse of priceless materials worldwide to address this issue.
Furthermore, Encore Deutsche Bahn (encore DB) has been working with several European companies to buy used batteries and recycle them as energy storage systems. Kia, whose EV batteries are already being utilized to help power micro smart grids, is now its newest partner.
Kia’s electric vehicle batteries will lessen the load on European grids
This approach has already been implemented at the EUREF-Campus in Berlin, Germany, with an initial prototype battery storage facility. Impressively, 24 battery modules, made up of 14 double cells previously utilized in Kia Soul EVs, make up the energy storage system.
A “Micro Smart Grid” is basically a power grid in which various energy sources are linked intelligently when these modules are combined. Whenever necessary, an integrated battery management system (BMS) will execute passive or active voltage to balance each module’s charge level.
The companies claim that by making energy flows more predictable and boosting the quantity of renewable energy used in a specific location, these battery-powered systems will help minimize dependency on the grid. Jason Jeong, head of Kia Europe, spoke:
“With our success in the electrification of Kia models, we also take responsibility for the batteries beyond their lifetime in the car. The pioneering partnership between Kia and encore DB shows that we regard batteries as a valuable resource in terms of a sustainable circular economy.”
Impressively, the present energy storage prototype can store solar energy for later usage and offer 72 kWh of usable power to support the specified “time shifting” energy balance, as per the two companies.
Having said that, Encore DB intends to advance EV battery recycling and support more stable and predictable energy flows throughout Europe with its new partner, Kia. Most notably, it reflects the company’s intention in supporting more eco-friendly and renewable energy sources.