Daimler Announces World’s Largest 2nd-Use Battery Energy Storage Project

2 years ago by Mark Kane 25

E-mobility thought to the end: Daimler and partners are mapping out the entire battery value creation and recycling chain

E-mobility thought to the end: Daimler and partners are mapping out the entire battery value creation and recycling chain

Ground breaking - World's largest 2nd-use battery storage unit , Lünen. F.l.t.r.: Klemens Rethmann (Rethmann Group) Uwe Beckmeyer (Parl. Staatssekretär) Dieter Zetsche (CEO Daimler AG) Karl Gerhold (CEO GETEC Group) Thomas Raffeiner (CEO The Mobilty House)

Ground breaking – World’s largest 2nd-use battery storage unit , Lünen. F.l.t.r.: Klemens Rethmann (Rethmann Group) Uwe Beckmeyer (Parl. Staatssekretär) Dieter Zetsche (CEO Daimler AG) Karl Gerhold (CEO GETEC Group) Thomas Raffeiner (CEO The Mobilty House)

Daimler, in cooperation with The Mobility House, GETEC and REMONDIS, will launch the world’s largest 2nd-use battery storage unit in Lünen, Germany.

The 13-megawatt energy storage system ESS will be connected to the grid in early 2016.

For the purpose of the project Daimler used lithium-ion batteries from the second generation smart ED (Tesla packs).

“The world’s largest 2nd-use battery storage unit will soon go into operation in the Westphalian town of Lünen. A joint venture between Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC, it will be operated from the beginning of next year at the site of REMONDIS SE and marketed in the German electricity balancing sector. A special feature of this venture is the use of second-life battery systems from electric vehicles. In Lünen, systems from the second generation of smart electric drive vehicles are being incorporated into a stationary storage unit with a total capacity of 13 MWh. The process demonstrably improves the environmental performance of electric vehicles, thereby helping to make e-mobility more economically efficient.”

“With their 2nd-use battery storage project in Lünen, the four partners are proving that the lifecycle of a plug-in or electric vehicle battery does not end after its automotive application. Depending on the model, Daimler AG guarantees its electric vehicle customers a battery life of up to ten years*. 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. It is estimated that the unit can operate efficiently in a stationary application for at least another ten years.

This temporarily delays the final phase of the value chain: material recycling. Re-use of the lithium-ion modules from electric cars in 2nd-use battery storage units practically doubles their commercial service life.
* Example: smart electric drive with sale&care package”
World's largest 2nd-use battery storage unit set to connect to the grid

World’s largest 2nd-use battery storage unit set to connect to the grid

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25 responses to "Daimler Announces World’s Largest 2nd-Use Battery Energy Storage Project"

  1. SparkEV says:

    When EV battery loses enough range to be repurposed, the EV is typically old. If the used batteries in significant numbers are repurposed for something other than EV, there will be fewer rebuilt batteries for older EV. That means higher price for used batteries or more (most?) must pay full price for new battery.

    Given that battery price will likely be $100/kWh in 10 year or so (without core exchange $125/kWh or more), new 30 kWh battery could cost $3000 + $1000 install labor = $4000. How often do people spend $4000 for 10 year old car that does 0-60 in 10+ seconds when comparable age and better performing gas cars will be cheaper than just the battery? $4000 is more than brand new SparkEV lease for 3.25 years!

    People who drive older cars tend to be poorer, unable to afford such large upfront cost. Lots of people here claim that they’d replace the battery and continue to drive their Leaf, but let’s face it, most of the older cars in the real world end up in poorer drivers who aren’t likely to spend such large upfront cost, especially when battery price is competing against repurposed use. Meanwhile, ICE can be repaired at modest incremental cost and driven far longer. Median age of cars is now about 11 years old.

    Repurposing EV battery may be bad news for older EV in the future; more will end up in junk yards. Then you can guess how bad it’ll be for overall environmental impact.

    1. Big Solar says:

      There is truth in what you are saying but all of these things could change. Even some may not have to change to have a different end result than the one you are offering.

      1. SparkEV says:

        I base it on my dead battery Prius experience. There is no repurposing of that, yet rebuilt battery price is pretty high (~75% of new if used comes with 1 year warranty) Now if there’s secondary market for used batteries, the price for used batteries for EV will be far higher and scarcer.

        1. Djoni says:

          If there is an additional value for fading battery by repurposing it.
          It mean as owner of such a battery you have some of that value.
          So you will regain some of the cost of refurbishing it.
          10 years from now battery will certainly be a lot better and worth a replacement in a still usable car.

          1. SparkEV says:

            You can put a major rebuild job on a 10 year old gas car to make it almost like new for less than $3000, yet no one doing that other than sports cars. If you think people will spend $4000 for a slooooow car that’s can only do 0-60 in 10+ seconds (your Leaf) while far better cars are available cheaper both new and used, you’re dreaming.

            As I said, I found it cheaper to get a new car (SparkEV) than replace the battery for my Prius. If you think you won’t do the same, well, delusion comes in many forms.

        2. sven says:

          I guess you haven’t been to Yellowstone National Park lately. 😉

          “Toyota now collects more than 90% of its batteries, and is aiming for 100% collected. . . . In May, Toyota and Yellowstone flipped the switch on a new energy system at the park’s Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus, which combines solar power with energy storage built on 208 Nimh batteries from old Toyota Camry Hybrids.”

          1. SparkEV says:

            That could explain why used Prius battery cost so much. Now that’s only for one park. Imagine if they are reusing EV batteries in global scale (lot more demand), it could get far worse.

            Even if the situation turns out to be like now, I found it cheaper to lease a new car than replace the battery with used one. Dead battery pretty much makes a (P/H)EV worthless after 10 years.

            1. sven says:

              Toyota refuses to service its battery packs by conditioning the cells or replacing only the module/modules containing the bad cells (there 168 cells in 28 modules). Toyota will only replace the old battery pack with a brand new battery pack.

              I no longer own a Prius, but when I did own a high mileage one, I bookmarked some links about reconditioning and purchasing reconditioned battery packs at a much lower cost than having Toyota swap in a new battery pack. In the link below, a reconditioned reconditioned battery pack was purchased and installed for $800. It was backed by a one-year warranty, and was supposed to be good for an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 additional miles.


              This PriusChat thread discusses reconditioning/module-replacement by the TheHybridShop, which has franchises in many states. But the one commentor in the thread who used the reconditioning service, promised to report back the results and never did. Maybe, PriusChat has another thread about whether the service provided by TheHybridShop in snake oil or not.


              1. SparkEV says:

                Thanks for the links, but I have 3 years left in SparkEV lease, so I won’t be reviving the Prius any time soon.

                I looked into rebuilds a while. There are those who claim $600, then you talk to them and they’re pretty shady. Decent ones run $1800+ for 1 yr; they actually recondition/test and try to find close match. This takes time, of course.

                But one shop who used to work with rebuilds told me that stopped it altogether due to high return rates. He said the batteries were completely unpredictable, and they were making some of their existing ICE + Prius customers unhappy. This is probably why Toyota doesn’t deal with rebuilds.

                I might just bite the bullet and make that battery conditioner myself; FPGA with softcore CPU + couple of hundred ADC/DAC, how much simpler can it get? 😉

                1. sven says:

                  I just dug out the BEST info I had saved on my computer regarding rebuilding Prius batteries. It’s from Lucious Garage in San Francisco, the long-time hybrid only shop that converted Prius’s into plug-ins long before Toyota started sellin the PIP. It gives all the pros and cons of rebuilding. Also, look at the comments on that page, as there are some good links and it appears that some big-name aftermarket auto parts suppliers offer rebuilt packs for a good price with multiyear warranties – ie: Dorman rebuilt batteries for $1336 with a 36 month warranty.

                  The spam filter is blocking the link below. Apparently, it thinks LusciousGarage is a porn site. LOL! 😀

                  http://lusciousgarage (dot) com/blog/prius_battery_rebuild_yes_or_no/

                  1. SparkEV says:

                    WTF man! 🙂 You mean I didn’t have to call around a dozen shops and talk to weird guys? It seems the blog reached the same conclusion and same findings that I have, although they are more detailed description with the reason as they are actual shop that dealt with the batteries.

                    I might try Dormans if I get lazy and not make the battery rebuilder myself (which can also be used in Lithium as well). I’m in SoCal, and cheapest (and only) 36 mo warranty was 150 miles away at $2300 (no install), same as new pack price. Their rationale was that new pack comes with 1 yr warranty while theirs come with 3.

                    1. sven says:

                      Good luck!

            2. sven says:

              If you’re interested, here is the link to the story about Yellowstone Park NiMH battery repurposing that I forgot to include in my previous comment.


          2. Ocean Railroader says:

            Criminals are stealing batteries out of Prius so that they can sell them on the used battery market for hundreds of dollars.

    2. IQ130 says:

      The old battery is still valuable after 10 years so this is good news. Replacing it will be cheaper because you can trade in the old one and it will not go to the junk yard.

    3. Khai L. says:

      I think your expectations are inconsistent with the battery’s function.

      Unlike engines, battery cells degrade uniformly (due to their management circuits), so the battery itself degrades uniformly. Thus the only time you’d replace an old battery is when it can no longer maintain a charge equivalent to 70% of its original capacity. This charge level might not be enough for your EV, but it’s more than enough for grid storage.

      Furthermore, the cost of a new replacement battery isn’t dependent on the used value of your old battery, but rather the availability of “compatible” batteries made by 3rd parties to OEM specs (like cell phone batteries and the lead-acid 12V batteries). So if $5000 for the replacement leaf battery is too much, look for a LG/samsung/A123/BYD one that provides the same voltage and current.

      1. SparkEV says:

        Uniform battery wear assumption may be ok for now since Leaf’s been only out for 5 years. But let’s see how it goes in 10 years. I’ve seen Leafspy graph of voltages of cells (or maybe modules) on 2014 Leaf, and they were not the same; some were clearly lower than others. How it translates in 10 years and if they can be balanced, we’ll see.

        Price I estimate is based on cell pricing. Pack pricing will be much higher, which I assume will be covered by core exchange. It won’t matter who makes the battery, OEM or otherwise will cost very high for new battery which I estimate will be $4000 with install for 30kWh.

        And if you think those big industrial users will pay you retail used battery price to take your unsuable core, you’re very much mistaken.

        1. Khai L. says:

          My point wasn’t what someone would pay for the used battery. My point was why are you?

          In 10 years time, you should be buying a new battery. At which point $5000 now for a 24kwh may be lower or the same price for a larger battery. Either way, the use case doesn’t match that of the combustion engine where you’d replace a part here and there and end up with a mostly functional car.

          The Toyota Prius example isn’t exactly comparable, because there hasn’t been as much R&D into the NiMH battery as there recently have been with Li-Ion. The new batteries even within the next 5 years should be compelling enough that we shouldn’t even consider replacing our old battery with a used one – no matter how cheap/expensive they become.

          1. SparkEV says:

            I base the pricing raw material cost for Lithium batteries. If you assume something magical will bring down raw material prices, well, keep praying for some miracle to happen.

            What is clear is that batteries will get better. If significantly lower cost, they won’t be Lithium (see previous paragraph). In that case, you can’t use it in current generation of EV unless software and/or hardware is changed. I doubt the manufactuers will volunteer to change them and lose new car sales.

            NiMH batteries not researched? I guess you’re not old enough to remember EV1 and old Rav4EV. In fact, I wonder if old NiMH Rav4EV were more reliable than recently discontinued Lithium Rav4EV.

            Prius and used gas car are absolutely relevant. If you’re poor, have 10 year old Leaf that need $4000 battery, but you can get 10 year old Accord for $3000 that runs well, you most definitely will go for the Accord. Then what happens to Leaf? Junk yard. I could say parts, but with so many Leaf facing similar problems, there would be glut of Leaf parts and may not be worth the hassle other than junk yards.

        2. Khai L. says:

          In your prius battery experience, had a “next-gen” NiMH variant been available for the same cost, but higher capacity (offering higher power output, stronger regen, and thus better mileage – assumes the motor and inverter was oversized to begin with), would you have still looked for a used one or bought the new one?

          1. SparkEV says:

            Again, if there’s some magic that makes battery prices cheaper than raw material price that goes into the battery, things would be different. $100/kWh is rough pricing for raw material in Lithium battery in 10 years.

            I certainly would get new battery if pricing is $1500 or even $2000 ($500 or $1000 for battery + $1000 install). For 30kWh battery, that would make it $17/kWh or $33/kWh. This is not likely with Lithium or any existing battery technology for foreseeable future.

            You do bring up an interesting point in that at what price point would people willing to replace their batteries instead of junking. It seems $15/kWh would be best while $30/kWh would be tolerable. It can’t be Lithium battery.

  2. Warren says:

    I have heard about “rebuilt” EV batteries before. What exactly do you imagine this would entail? It is not the case that a few of the cells go bad, and could be replaced. Data to date shows that the cells in OEM cars are remarkable consistent, virtually all degrading at the same rate. There have been a tiny number of “failed” cells. This is leading Nissan, for instance, to package cells in larger and larger modules.

    I suspect the labor to replace cells would more than offset the saving of salvaged packaging, and BMS.

  3. Trollnonymous says:

    Seriously, who wants a used faded battery?

    I can understand if the batteries come from an EV that was in an accident but one faded below 75%, not thanks for anything. would that even be enough to mitigate the cost of new FLA’s?

    1. Mike I says:

      Cars that are wrecked are yet another source of second use EV batteries. They don’t have to be old and have reduced capacity. The question is whether there is more of a demand for the packs from wrecks in other cars on the road, or this kind of second use.

  4. Bob A says:

    Lithium batteries are great for cars because of their high energy density and specific volume, but aren’t there lower cost solutions that make better sense in a stationary application? Vanadium or some such?