Global vehicle OEM brands Daimler and China’s state-owned BAIC Group have entered into a development partnership to establish Beijing’s first second-life energy storage system facility.
The firms plan to use retired electric car batteries from BAIC’s subsidiary Beijing Electric Vehicle (BJEV).
The two parties— which include the German firm’s wholly owned subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Energy— will pool their EV battery systems expertise and resources to improve the life cycle assessment and economy of electric vehicles.
Gordon Gassmann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy, said: “The tendency towards increasing distances between the site of energy production and the site of energy consumption means huge challenges for today’s energy grids.”
“This is creating wide-ranging opportunities for stationary energy storage systems worldwide. Second-life battery storage units are a very sensible supplement.”
The deal will serve as the basis for other types of cooperation in the future, say the firms, which have a history of working together on Beijing-based projects.
Ye Xiaohua, deputy general manager of BJEV, said: “The rapid electrification of vehicles has transformed them from being a traditional means of transport, to a new tool of energy management.”
Mercedes-Benz Energy has been developing large-scale storage for peak-shifting, black start and uninterrupted power applications since 2016. To date, Daimler has put three storage devices totalling 40MWh from car battery systems into the German grid.
The partnership strengthens ties between the two firms, who formed a joint venture— Beijing Benz Automotive— to build a CNY5 billion (US$736.6 million) manufacturing plant for “premium e-batteries” and electric vehicles in Beijing, in 2017.
A year later, Beijing Benz Automotive invested CNY11.9bn ($1.9bn) in a facility making lithium-ion batteries and “high-quality premium vehicles” for Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand.