German carmaker Daimler AG and Japanese chemicals firm Mitsui & Co., Ltd., are investing in moves to ramp up the development of second use lithium-ion battery storage.
Daimler said it is acquiring a minority stake in German energy services company, The Mobility House AG (TMH), while Mitsui confirmed it too has “made an investment”.
The move comes after Daimler teamed up with TMH and German Utility firm GETEC two years ago to establish a joint venture to bring a 13MWh second use lithium-ion battery storage unit on line in Germany.
A Daimler spokesperson told BBB that none of the financial details— including the size of its stake in TMH— would be disclosed. Mitsui could not be contacted for comment.
TMH is a provider of EV charging systems and an operator of stationary energy storage systems built with EV batteries. The company is also developing vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology— which allows EV fleet owners to be paid for power fed into the grid.
A statement issued by Daimler said its investment would support TMH’s development of V2G and home energy storage units.
Dr Frank Spennemann of Daimler’s connected, autonomous, shared & service and electric drive (CASE) unit, said: “Together with TMI we are working intensively on the integration of electric vehicles into the power grid. With an intelligent electricity charging network, not only can we charge vehicles in such a way that expensive peak loads are avoided, but we can also use the vehicle batteries to act as an ideal buffer for grid stabilisation, also providing fleet operators with monetary added value.”
Daimler has stepped up its involvement in energy storage technologies since founding Mercedes-Benz Energy, based in Saxony, last year. The company set up a US arm of the subsidiary— Mercedes-Benz Energy America— later in the year.
Mitsui said its involvement with TMH will help to “commercialise advanced business models” across its automotive, power infrastructure, and energy trading businesses, which it said it plans to grow in the US, Japan and other regions.
Earlier this year, Mitsui announced the start-up of its electrolyte solution production facilities for lithium-ion batteries in Nagoya, Japan.
In a related move, construction of a Daimler-backed ‘living storage’ lithium-ion battery storage facility in Germany is nearing completion.
The facility, being built in Herrenhausen by Daimler and its subsidiary Accumotive, in partnership with Enercity, a subsidiary of German utility Stadtwerke Hannover AG, will deploy new EV battery packs that will then become replacement batteries for EVs.
Enercity said on 23 October the facility, which will have a 17.4MWh storage capacity, is set for completion early in 2018.