Kia and DB turn used EV batteries into ‘Second Life’ energy storage
Kia Europe is partnering with Encore, a start-up subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn (DB) to re-use EV batteries in so-called ‘Second Life’ energy storage systems.
The Korean brand will send used EV batteries from all over Europe to Encore, which will use them to build and distribute the energy storage systems. The battery packs will be dismantled to battery module level and diagnostically tested. Suitable modules will be used, the ones with too little storage capacity will be recycled.
Kia is the first mobility solutions provider to partner with Encore. In August, both companies unveiled a prototype facility at the EUREF Campus in Berlin, using only reused Kia Soul EV battery modules. The prototype is part of EUREF’s Micro Smart Grid, in which different energy sources, consumers and storage systems are linked intelligently. One of the grid’s first applications was for EV charging, and the first vehicle to plug in was a Kia e-Niro.
“With our success in electrification, we also take responsibility for the batteries beyond the car’s lifetime,” says Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe. “This pioneering partnership with Encore shows that we regard batteries as a valuable resource in terms of a sustainable circular economy.”