Batteries that can no longer be used in vehicles still retain up to 80% of their initial capacity. It is inevitable that, at some stage, the batteries will no longer function at an optimum level for the car. However, they can continue to serve a ‘secondary use’ purpose as a mobile power source.
It is an important step for BMW as the company plans to produce multiple electric models in the coming years. Having a strategy for these batteries, once they can no longer efficiently be used in cars, is key, according to Graeme Grieve, CEO BMW Group UK.
“BMW Group will have 25 electrified models on the roads by 2023, half of them fully electric,” he said. “We are delighted to work with Off Grid Energy to find a sustainable way of continuing to use these valuable batteries, even after they have put in many years of service in our electrified cars.”
BMW Group UK will supply Off Grid Energy with battery modules for it to adapt to create mobile power units. The first prototype unit is now up and running, powered by lithium-ion battery modules extracted from a MINI Electric development vehicle. It has a 40kWh capacity delivering a 7.2kW fast charge and will be used at BMW and MINI UK events over the next year. As more battery modules become available over time, systems will be built with a capacity of up to 180kWh and able to provide multiple charges at rates of up to 50kW.
The German company expects that, by 2021, a quarter of its vehicles sold in Europe will be electrified with that figure expected to rise to a third by 2025 and half by 2030. Therefore, it is important to have this partnership that will have sustainability as its main goal, according to Danny Jones, Managing Director Off Grid Energy.
“Off Grid Energy’s business model has been built with sustainability at its core, from the way we make our products and the materials we use, through to the environmental impact of our technology,” he said. “We’re extremely excited to be in partnership with BMW Group UK and use our technology to give BMW and MINI electric vehicle batteries such a valuable second use.”