German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and Kia have entered into a strategic partnership for the supply of used batteries for electric vehicles. The goal is to turn old electric vehicle batteries into high-performance energy storage devices. Startup DB Encore will take over the procurement and production.
Encore is due to begin sales and mass production of "several hundred energy storage devices" from next year. The company will receive used batteries from Kia dealers. Encore verifies them and performs a safety and quality analysis: battery modules with sufficient residual capacity then become second-life batteries, and unusable batteries are professionally recycled. The logistics subsidiaries DB Schenker and DB Cargo will be responsible for transporting the batteries and new energy storage devices throughout Europe.
With this collaboration, the companies want to promote the circular economy in electric mobility, according to Deutsche Bahn.
Deutsche Bahn sees several potential applications for the new energy storage devices: for example, they can store excess electricity from photovoltaic systems or provide electricity throughout the day for DB maintenance and intermediate storage facilities. “This reduces the cost of electricity during peak periods,” writesDeutsche Bahn.