Daimler, together with its battery energy storage subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy, entered into a development partnership with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. (BJEV), a subsidiary of the BAIC Group.

The German-Chinese partnership is focused on the second-life battery storage for Chinese market. The first pilot installation will be deployed in Beijing.

BJEV is very interested in reusing battery modules from electric cars as soon there will be plenty of such batteries available. So far, the company produced more than 420,000 electric cars, which speaks for itself.

"The partnership will see a consolidation of expertise and resources regarding the value-chain of automotive battery systems, while laying the groundwork for a sustainable renewable energy development. Together, Mercedes-Benz Energy and Beijing Electric Vehicle plan to set up the first 2nd-life energy storage unit in Beijing, making use of retired BJEV electric car batteries. This project will serve as the basis for other types of cooperation in the future."

Usually, batteries are reaching end-of-life in electric vehicles when their capacity decreases to less than 70-80% of the initial capacity. Because normally it takes years, this market is still in the very early stage. After extracting the used modules for stationary application (where decreasing energy density is not a problem), batteries can still remain in use for probably 10+ years.

Here is how the two describes current achievements and potential applications for the battery second-life:

"As a subsidiary of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Energy, which is based in Kamenz has been responsible for developing innovative energy storage solutions since 2016. These are based on the automotive battery technology, which is used in electric and hybrid vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and smart. The spectrum of large-scale storage applications by Mercedes-Benz Energy ranges from load peak compensation through black start (power system independent start up of the power plant) to uninterrupted power supply (USV). The company's focus is in particular on applications from the 2nd-life and replacement parts storage unit sector. Together with its partners, Daimler has already put three mass storage devices with a total energy of 40 MWh from car battery systems into the German grid. Just some weeks ago, Mercedes-Benz Energy also furnished proof together with the transmission system operator TenneT: automotive battery storage systems can take over tasks from large power stations and make a fundamental contribution towards grid stabilisation and system reconstruction following a power station outage. The cooperation with the Chinese partner BJEV is now paving the way for the Daimler subsidiary to go abroad. With extensive tests and simulations, the Mercedes-Benz Energy engineers will demonstrate in the coming months how electric automotive storage units will in future also be able to support the Chinese power grid efficiently and sustainably with regard to fluctuation and power outage management.

Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. was established in 2009 by the BAIC Group as a development platform for New Energy Vehicles. With more than 420,000 battery-electric vehicles on the market so far, BJEV is one of the leading manufacturers of all-electric vehicles in China. Accordingly, their batteries form one of the largest pools worldwide and offer wide-ranging potential for 2nd-life applications in the area of stationary use. In 2016, BAIC established Beijing Articore Battery to perform research into the utilization of 2nd-life batteries. Beijing Articore Battery is currently involved in the research of telecommunications base stations, highway renewable energy stations and mobile energy storage units. Research into micro-grid energy storage is also planned."

Gordon Gassmann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy, stated:

"The extension of regenerative and thus high-fluctuation energy production is rapidly increasing worldwide. The tendency towards increasing distances between the site of energy production and the site of energy consumption also means huge challenges for today's energy grids. This is creating wide-ranging opportunities for stationary energy storage systems worldwide. 2nd-life battery storage units are a very sensible supplement, as with the further utilisation of disused car batteries we are also making sustainable use of valuable raw materials."

Ye Xiaohua, Deputy General Manager of BJEV, emphasized:

“The rapid electrification of vehicles has transformed vehicles from a traditional means of transport, to a new tool of energy management. BJEV is an expert in areas such as charging and battery swap infrastructure and battery 2nd-life usage. I believe our cooperation in energy management will bring long-term and stable benefits.”

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