BMW Looking at Battery Re-Use Programme

BMW looking at battery re-use programme
BMW looking at battery re-use programme

In a move which initially sounds as though it is well off the beaten track of the electric vehicle industry, BMW has announced a partnership with Vattenfall which will see both companies investigated the re-use of electric vehicle battery packs after their electric vehicle life is deemed to be over. This could play a critical role in the ongoing development of the EV industry because at this moment in time, once an EV battery pack is deemed to be unusable you may be surprised to learn that the battery pack will still on average have around 80% storage capacity.

The type and standard of battery pack required for electric vehicle is very different to those required for other services and systems which is something that BMW and its partner will be looking into.

Disposal of used batteries

As the EV sector continues to grow there is no doubt that more and more battery packs will be discarded by the industry, even though they could be used again in different circumstances. Indeed there is also no doubt that governments around the world will keep a very close eye upon environmental issues with the likelihood that protective disposal regulations will come into play in due course. In simple terms, electric vehicle manufacturers could be deemed to be responsible for the disposal of used battery packs.

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This is not something which has been discussed in great detail over the last few months, as the industry goes from strength to strength, but if this trend continues it will need to be confronted at some stage.

Making use of secondary battery packs?

BMW has been very vocal over the last few days with regards to its intent to reuse battery packs as much as possible, suggesting they could play a major role in solar installations, storing power at fast charging stations and even for grid or household storage. These are very interesting and eye-catching observations by BMW although at this moment in time there is not enough research to back up these aspirations and these claims, hence the announcement this week.

At this moment in time it is difficult to put a figure on the financial value of a spent electric vehicle battery pack, although the fact that for many electric vehicles the battery pack is the most expensive element, any sell-on value could help to reduce the overall cost of EVs. This in itself would be a major step forwards for the industry and we await the first report from the research collaboration in due course.

Does the industry have all angles covered?

When you bear in mind the ongoing positive headlines associated with the electric vehicle industry of late you may be surprised to learn that companies such as BMW are already focusing upon the disposal of spent electric vehicle battery packs. Howeve, in years gone by the industry has fallen short of future planning standards you would expect from major companies although hopefully this anomaly is now being rectified.

There are many other issues to take into consideration and it would be foolish to suggest the industry has "made it" but the fact remains that EVs are more popular today than ever before. Thankfully, with companies such as BMW, to name but one, looking to the future, perhaps the industry is now in safer hands than in years gone by?