Hyundai Motor Group has entered into a partnership with Wärtsilä to repurpose second-life plug-in vehicle batteries as stationary energy storage products.
The new partnership provides an end of life destination for Hyundai Motor Group’s increasing production volume of plug-in and fully-electric vehicle batteries. Wärtsilä brings years of demonstrated capability in energy storage while taking advantage of its recent acquisition of Greensmith Energy for the software side of the solution.
The new partnership will form the foundation for a new business that will develop grid-scale and commercial-scale advanced energy storage systems in an effort to establish a market for second-life stationary storage products. Building the solution with partners on the supply side with Hyundai, and the demand side with Wärtsilä’s connections on the generation side, could be the ideal middle ground as markets around the world are increasingly aware of the potential of stationary storage.
“Energy storage is the logical next step in the after-market use of EV batteries,” said Dr. Youngcho Chi, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Technology Division and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. “By repurposing resource-intensive products like EV batteries, we eliminate disposal costs and extend the value of the R&D investment that goes into manufacturing the technology. HMG is strengthening its leadership in clean technology and sustainability by participating in the new energy business.”
Wärtsilä will commercialize the new second-life energy storage products across its existing network of customers which stretches across 177 countries around the world which it leveraged last year to sell nearly 4 gigawatts in power plants. The partnership estimates that in 2025, there will be 29 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of second-life plug-in vehicle batteries available that dwarfs the 10 GWh of stationary storage capacity available today. Second-life batteries are ideal for stationary storage applications where energy density is not as critical and eliminates the need to break batteries down to the raw elements to extract value, as is required for battery cell recycling.
“Wärtsilä through the capabilities and integration experience of Greensmith Energy, will develop a cleaner and more powerful approach to second-life battery applications for Hyundai Motor Group,” said Javier Cavada, President of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions. “Our strategic partnership with Hyundai Motor Group represents the life-cycle vision Wärtsilä strives to deliver to our customers and partners around the world. Incorporating second-life-EV batteries into our energy and integration business underscores our deep commitment to building sustainable societies with smart technologies.”
The Hyundai Motor Group is currently building a 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) scale energy storage system for one of its steel factories that uses second-life batteries from its IONIQ electric and Soul Electric vehicles.