VW to repurpose end-of-life EV batteries for energy storage, taking on Tesla’s energy business

  • VW charging subsidiary Elli has now entered the energy storage industry, with the first storage project set to be launched in Germany as early as 2025.
  • The first couple of projects are pinned to have 700MWh of storage capacity, using new batteries – but VW plan to implement older EV batteries into future projects, further extending the useful life of these cells.
  • The move is the first step taken from Volkswagen to rival Tesla’s energy storage solutions.

A new energy storage project from VW

VW’s charging network business, Elli, has already passed an impressive milestone of 600,000-plus charge points across Europe, but this is the first sign of the business entering the increasingly lucrative energy storage industry – projected to be worth over $120bn globally by 2030, according to estimates from McKinsey. The company joins its rival car company Tesla, who launched its ‘Megapack’ battery energy storage system back in 2019. 

VW and Elli won’t be the first to repurpose car batteries into energy storage systems however, with Jaguar Land Rover collaborating with Allye to create a BESS out of second-life Range Rover PHEV batteries. Modern EV batteries in general already have minimal battery degradation, even at mileage as high as 200,000, as Tesla noted in its recent impact report. Therefore, the repurposing of such batteries into energy storage solutions is a winner, reducing the total carbon footprint of both the EVs they originated from and the energy storage sites in question.

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Volkswagen Group Board Member for Technology, Thomas Schmall, commented:

“Germany and Europe need sufficient storage solutions to meet the increasing demand and to compensate for the volatile feed-in of renewable energies. Our investment in stationary battery storage systems is therefore a significant contribution to the sustainable transformation of the energy supply”.

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