Kia joins Deutsche Bahn to recycle electric vehicle batteries

Kia vehicle at DB – Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs) continue to grow in popularity in the automotive market, and that’s a plus for the environment! Less fossil fuels, zero emissions and a much more sustainable fuel source, however, how Is does it have an impact on the environment? Extracting the resources and materials needed to make electric vehicle batteries is part of the equation, and then comes the question of what happens to those batteries once they are depleted. Do they end up in a landfill? Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) and Kia Corp are working diligently towards new forms of battery management and battery reuse and recycling services with their new partner, Deutsche Bahn (DB Bahnbau Gruppe).

This isn’t the first time the auto company has collaborated to change the way battery supplies and battery life can affect the earth. In 2020, HMG partnered with SK Innovation Co. to research ways to maximize the value of electric vehicle batteries, even when they are no longer useful for EVs and BEVs. Their goal is to make them environmentally friendly and help reduce carbon emissions even after their primary use. Not only will this make them a bigger asset for the future of mobile solutions in the automotive industry and in the public and private transport sector, but it will give EV batteries an overall positive image. They will use the Kia Niro EV battery as a starting point, then research solutions for how used EV batteries could still be used in a range of applications, including new forms of energy storage systems (ESS) both portable and reusable. Kia’s partnership with Deutsche Bahn aims to do something similar on a much larger scale.

Across Europe, a prototype has already been set up in Germany to collect used electric vehicle batteries and give them a new purpose. Currently, recycled Kia EV batteries are used to power smart microgrids. DB is experienced in recycling used EV batteries, having worked with a number of companies in this regard. Using disassembled electric vehicle batteries, DB creates and sells second-life battery energy storage solutions across Europe. Components that can still generate a load are recycled or placed in a new SSE.

“With [our] success in electrifying Kia models, we also take responsibility for the batteries beyond their lifespan in the car. The pioneering partnership between Kia and Encore DB shows that we see batteries as a valuable resource in terms of a sustainable circular economy. – Jason Jeong, President of Kia Europe

With this new alliance, Kia Corp becomes the first mobility solutions provider to collaborate with DB. Currently, the original prototype used to power the EUREF campus in Berlin, Germany consists of 24 battery modules made from 14 dual cells. The mini smart grid, a power system that uses AI to govern and manage connected energy sources, is powered by these battery cells, which come directly from Kia Soul electric vehicles. The prototype is a fantastic application of a transportable and reusable ESS as it can produce up to 72 kWh of usable energy while storing solar energy. What other uses are there for discarded EV batteries?

Join the Miami Lakes Automall social media discussion. If this article helps reassure you about going green, you can find great hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles at Miami Lakes Automall.

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