BMW and Mini have launched a new battery recycling solution that will see used electric vehicle (EV) batteries have a second life as mobile power and fast charging units.
BMW Group UK has partnered with Off Grid Energy to create the first prototype unit powered by lithium-ion battery modules extracted from a Mini Electric development vehicle.
It has a 40kWh capacity delivering a 7.2kW fast charge and will be used at BMW and MINI UK events over the next year.
Graeme Grieve, BMW Group UK chief executive, said the brand will have 25 electrified models on the road by 2023, half of them fully electric.
Earlier this month AM revealed details of the upcoming iX3, the brand's first EV SUV.
He said BMW Group wanted to find a sustainable way of continuing to use the batteries, even after they have put in “many years of service in our EVs”.
BMW and Mini EV batteries have a warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles.
After this period the battery could still retain up to 80% of its initial capacity.
However, BMW said it is inevitable that at some stage, the battery will no longer function at an optimum level for the car – although it can continue to serve a ‘secondary use’ purpose as a mobile power source.
As more battery modules become available over time, systems will be built with a capacity of up to 180kWh and able to provide multiple charges at rates of up to 50kW.
BMW said that when these units are used to displace conventional ways of generating temporary power, the battery modules will at least double the CO2 reduction achieved in their original use in the car, continuing their positive impact in reducing carbon emissions.
The BMW Group expects electrified cars to account for between 15-25% of the company’s global sales before 2025.
By 2021, a quarter of the vehicles sold by the company in Europe will be electrified – that figure is expected to rise to a third by 2025 and half by 2030.