German carmaker BMW has become the latest automaker to develop home energy storage systems using car batteries.
BMW will work with compatriot firm Beck Automation to use complete new or second life i3 battery packs as its offering.
BMW’s version, which was revealed at the Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition in Montreal, will differ from Tesla’s and Daimler’s in using the entire battery pack, and the 22kWh or 33 kWh system will be capable of powering an average home for a full 24 hours, the company claims.
BMW claims the batteries will retain most of their original capacity after the vehicle has finished with them, and that they will offer years of in-home service afterwards.
Second-life MINI E batteries will be used to create a stationary solar energy storage system at BMW's technology office in Mountain View, California.
Daimler AG began delivering its first home energy storage systems in April this year, following months of commercial deliveries.
Its lithium-ion storage units are manufactured by Deutsche Automotive.
One of China’s largest lead-acid battery manufacturers has opened a factory to make start-stop batteries that it will supply directly to OEM firms such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.
The factory, in Boading in the Hebei province, China, has an annual capacity of five million batteries.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and BMW are to collaborate in a pilot programme to test the potential for electric vehicle (EV) batteries to provide services to the electric grid.
During the 18-month-programme, BMW will provide at least 100KW to PG&E’s demand response management services.
The Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) has inaugurated a lithium-ion battery research centre for the development of electric vehicle batteries in Ulm, Germany.
The 3,600 square metres centre comprises of a complete industrial-scale battery manufacturing line supplied by Manz in order to develop automotive cells under real-world industrial conditions.
Patent family applications for batteries suitable for stationary energy storage have doubled. From 2006 to 2011, the number of patents increased from 2,800 to 5,900, according to a study by Technical University Munich.
The lithium segment is most dynamic with a steep upward trend since 2008 and 4,900 patent family applications in 2011. Simon Müller, physicist and economist at TUM told BEST: “A lot of companies have high market expectations for lithium batteries that result in extensive research development.