As electric cars come towards the end of their life, they create a set of problems that you simply don't get with petrol cars - namely, getting rid of the batteries. Automotive giant Daimler is doing its bit to tackle the problem by partnering with The Mobility House, GETEC and Remondis to create a 13-MWh battery storage unit out of second-life battery systems from electric and plug-in hybrid cars.
These companies have worked to map out the process of battery creation and recycling in Lünen in the Westphalian region of Germany. Daimler provides its electric vehicle customers with a 10 year battery life guarantee, but reports that there's still a good deal of life in the cells beyond this point.
The company estimates that such batteries should offer at least another 10 years of usefulness when employed in stationary storage systems, which are said to be key in helping to level out dips in the energy supply coming from renewable sources like wind farms and solar power stations.
This is a role that's partially played by fossil-fuel power plants at the moment, so Daimler says the battery system will help to "speed up the energy revolution and eliminates the cost of expanding the grid and building new power plants."
The battery storage unit will be connected to the grid in early 2016.