Finland technology group Wärtsilä and South Korea vehicle OEM Hyundai Motor Group have signed a technology and commercial partnership to target utility-scale and commercial energy storage applications using second-life EV batteries, Wärtsilä announced on June 26.
The partnership will target advanced energy storage products and platforms using Hyundai’s second-life EV batteries for Wärtsilä’s existing global customer base and channel network.
The first products will be completed in the next year or so, a spokesperson for Wärtsilä and Hyundai Motor Group, told ESJ, with ‘some interplay between where the EV batteries come from with stationary storage opportunities’ once the battery supply exceeds GWh levels.
The spokesperson said systems will be built centrally then deployed globally, with the planning aspects to be developed over the next 12 months.
“Over time, there may be more than one central location — but initially, both South Korea and USA are possibilities,” they said.
By 2025 there is expected to be 29GWh of second-life EV batteries, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2018, released this May.
The companies expect EV batteries to retain between 60%-70% of their original capacity by the time they retire from the road. “Despite the slight degradation, the capacity of the batteries is still sufficient to run a profitable business and support the power needs of industrial customers,” said the firms.
“The process primarily consists of rearranging the battery cells into packages used for utility-scale storage applications. No additional chemical or other processes are required to repower the batteries.”
The multi-year agreement between the two firms aims to establish a supply chain that can be replicated at scale to rollout multi-MWs of storage in the future.
“Energy storage is the logical next step in the after-market use of EV batteries,” said Youngcho Chi, executive vice president of Strategy & Technology Division and chief innovation officer of Hyundai Motor Group.
“By repurposing resource-intensive products like EV batteries, we eliminate disposal costs and extend the value of the R&D investment that goes into manufacturing the technology. Hyundai is strengthening its leadership in clean technology and sustainability by participating in the new energy business.”
Meanwhile, Hyundai is developing of a 1MWh-level ESS using its IONIQ Electric and Kia Soul Electric’s second-life batteries.
The first product will use ESS software provider Greensmith’s fifth generation GEMS technology.
Image caption: (from left) Javier Cavada, president of Energy Solutions at Wärtsilä, Youngcho Chi, EVP and chief innovation officer at Hyundai Motor Group, John Jung, president at Greensmith Energy.