Article: Deutsche Bahn and Kia give used electric car batteries a second life as stationary energy storage systems for a greener electricity.
The strategic partnership will play a key role in decarbonizing energy while providing an economical energy storage solution for its customers • encore - a Deutsche Bahn startup, manufactures and distributes the second-life battery energy storage systems • DB Schenker manages the save transportation of the used batteries.
The Korean carmaker Kia and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have partnered up to increase the useable life of batteries used in electric mobility. Their solution is to re-use used lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles to create efficient and cost-effective energy storage systems for green electricity. These second-life battery energy storage solutions are modular and can be used in a wide variety of different applications. For example, they can save surplus electricity from photovoltaic systems or, as part of a distributed system, can supply power throughout the day to DB maintenance depots and depots where trains are prepared for operations. That helps cut the cost of power peaks. encore, a corporate startup of DB Bahnbau Gruppe GmbH, is handling the process, from procurement of the used batteries to production.
"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."
encore will begin series production and distribution of several hundred battery energy storage systems in 2023. The first pilot project went into operation at the EUREF campus in Berlin in July 2022. Additional battery energy storage systems are being installed at various DB locations, including the ICE maintenance depot in Leipzig, the digital test center in the Saxon town of Scheibenberg, and Zorneding station in Bavaria.
Essentially any company that has high power and/or energy demands and wants to focus on renewable energy, while reducing their environmental impact, can benefit from encore’s second-life battery energy storage system.
"As one of the leading brands for electric mobility in Europe, Kia will expand its range of electric cars to 14 models by 2027," says Jason Jeong, President of Kia Europe. "We're also investing in sustainable solutions, including solutions for batteries once their first life in the vehicle comes to an end. This groundbreaking partnership between Kia and DB is proof that the two companies think of batteries as valuable resources in a sustainable circular economy," he added.
Kia dealerships send the batteries directly to encore, which inspects them and analyzes them for safety and quality. Battery modules that have enough remaining capacity will become second-life battery energy storage systems, and encore sends any that do not have enough life left to be recycled appropriately.
The batteries and new energy storage units are transported throughout Europe mainly by DB's logistics affiliates DB Schenker and DB Cargo. There are strict legal requirements for transporting and storing battery modules, such as labeling and temperature control during transport, which makes proper transport especially complex.
"Batteries are the backbone of the global move toward electrification in the mobility sector. encore has developed an exciting solution to give old batteries a second life," says Christian Moser, Global Solution Manager for E-Mobility at DB Schenker. "We are delighted to support this innovative project with our services tailored specifically to battery logistics," he adds.
About DB Bahnbau Gruppe and encore | DB
DB Bahnbau Gruppe GmbH operates throughout Germany as an infrastructure services provider, partner and consultant. It has some 3,500 employees and 400 maintenance vehicles and offers design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure facilities, in particular for rail infrastructure and rail transport services. DB Bahnbau Gruppe also specializes in recycling and alternative energy systems.
encore | DB gives used electric car batteries a second life as energy storage units. It closely coordinates the entire process from procurement of used batteries to production of second-life battery banks with its partners.
The second-life battery energy storage systems are also part of the "This is green." range of measures. With over 160 green measures, Deutsche Bahn is a strong proponent of climate protection, nature conservation, resource protection, noise control and corporate social responsibility.
Bahnbaugruppe | encore DB | Das ist Grün
Kia Europe is the European sales and manufacturing division of Kia Corporation – a global mobility solutions brand for consumers, communities and societies around the world. As a sustainable mobility solutions provider, Kia is spearheading the popularization of electrified and battery electric vehicles and developing a growing range of mobility services, encouraging people around the world to explore the best ways to get around.
Kia Europe, headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, has over 5,500 employees from 37 nationalities in 39 markets across Europe and the Caucasus. It also oversees European production at the company`s state-of-the-art facility in Zilina, Slovakia.
Kia´s innovative products continue to attract great acclaim, notably the EV6 battery electric vehicle, which was the first Korean car to be named European Car of the Year, in 2022.
Further information can be found here: www.press.kia.com
About DB Schenker
With around 76,100 employees at more than 1,850 locations in over 130 countries, DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading logistics providers. The company operates land, air, and ocean transportation services, and it also offers comprehensive solutions for logistics and global supply chain management from a single source. In 2022, DB Schenker celebrates its 150th company anniversary. To reach its ambitious goal of climate-neutrality until 2040, the logistics service provider continuously invests in innovative transport solutions, renewable energies, and carbon-neutral products for its customers.