The automaker will supply Off Grid Energy with battery modules for mobile power units, giving the retired EV batteries a useful second life

The automaker will supply Off Grid Energy with battery modules for mobile power units, giving the 'retired' EV batteries a useful second life

BMW Group UK has announced a deal with Off Grid Energy for second life uses for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

The automaker will supply Off Grid Energy with battery modules for mobile power units, giving the 'retired' EV batteries a useful second life when they can no longer efficiently be used in cars.

BMW UK CEO Graeme Grieve said: "[We] will have 25 electrified models on the roads by 2023 – half of them fully electric. We are delighted to work with Off Grid Energy to find a sustainable way of continuing to use these valuable batteries, even after they have put in many years of service in our cars."

The company gives its EV batteries a warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles. After this time or distance, the battery could still retain up to 80% of its initial capacity but inevitably eventually will no longer function at an optimum level for the car – although it can continue in a 'secondary use' purpose as a mobile power source.

The first prototype unit is running, powered by lithium-ion battery modules removed from a Mini Electric development vehicle. It has a 40kWh capacity delivering a 7.2kW fast charge and will be used at the automaker's events over the next year. As more battery modules become available, systems will be built with a capacity of up to 180kWh able to provide multiple charges at rates of up to 50kW.

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, BMW claimed.