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Kia Europe and Encore|DB join forces to re-use EV batteries in second life BESS

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Kia Europe has announced plans to re-use former electric vehicle (EV) batteries in 'Second Life' battery energy storage systems as part of its global strategic focus on sustainability.

For this purpose, the mobility brand is partnering with encore, a corporate Start-up from Deutsche Bahn (DB Bahnbau Gruppe), which receives their EV battery packs from across Europe to build and distribute second-life battery energy storage systems. The EV battery packs are being dismantled to battery module level and subjected to detailed diagnostic testing, with suitable modules then either used for new battery energy storage systems or recycled depending on their remaining capacity.

To deliver the Europe-wide initiative, Kia Europe has become the first mobility solutions provider to partner with encore | DB. The two companies have just unveiled a prototype Battery Storage facility at EUREF-Campus in Berlin, made entirely from reused Kia Soul EV battery modules.

As a pioneer of e-mobility and a leader in sustainable mobility solutions, Kia has shared its plans to develop Purpose Build Vehicles (PBVs), Autonomous technologies, and several forward-thinking concepts which will set future trends. Kia develops every model with a 'cradle to cradle' approach, with consideration for end-of-life processes and resource regeneration. This has led Kia to seek alternatives to the recycling of used EV batteries in favour of Second Life projects, which extend the useful life of batteries through new applications. encore | DB already operates a battery take-back service across Europe for the creation of Second Life battery energy storage systems facilitated by the comprehensive infrastructure available within the Deutsche Bahn Group. The Europe-wide transport of the batteries and new energy storage units is primarily handled by the logistics subsidiary DB Schenker as well as DB Cargo.

Jason Jeong, President at Kia Europe commented: "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."

In August, Kia Europe, and encore | DB jointly revealed their first battery energy storage system at the EUREF-Campus in Berlin, where it functions as part of the Micro Smart Grid, a power grid in which different energy sources, consumers, and storage systems are linked intelligently. The Micro Smart Grid was established and is operated by inno2grid GmbH, a joint venture of DB E.C.O. Group and Schneider Electric. The aim is to reduce reliance on the grid through predictable energy flows and increase the share of renewable energy use across the campus.

"It's more urgent than ever for us to save power," says Berthold Huber, Member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bahn for Infrastructure. 

"Our new second-life battery energy storage systems offer a solution that is also sustainable. And that makes it an attractive option for any industry." One of the first applications of the unit at EUREF-Campus is for EV charging, and the first vehicle to plug in was a Kia e-Niro. 

Author : Debi Dash
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