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Hyundai and Wärtsilä partner on second-life electric vehicle batteries for energy storage

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) has selected Wärtsilä for a technology and commercial partnership designed to utilise second-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries for the growing energy storage market.

The global partnership will combine HMG’s expansion in electric vehicles with Wärtsilä’s growing energy business, which includes 67 GW of installed power plants and advanced energy storage technologies and software created through the acquisition of Greensmith Energy.

The partnership will target advanced energy storage products and platforms that maximise HMG’s second-life EV batteries to be commercialised in Wärtsilä’s existing customer and channel networks across 177 countries globally. Wärtsilä sold almost 4 GW of power plants in 2017 in both developed and developing regions of the world.

The partnership will create a growing business and market for advanced energy storage systems and target both utility-scale and commercial applications suitable for second-life EV batteries.

The associated business model and collaboration will pursue the establishment of a continuous, global supply chain that leverages key OEM relationships to take a holistic approach from battery manufacturing, EV applications and energy storage redeployment as well as recycling of materials.

“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.”

In 2025, there will be 29 GWh of second-life EV batteries available, far exceeding the size of today’s stationary storage market, with 10 GWh currently available for storage application.

“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.

Hyundai Motor Group is developing a 1MWh-level ESS that utilises Hyundai IONIQ Electric’s and Kia Soul EV’s second-life battery by using its proprietary technology and has implemented a demonstration project in Hyundai Steel’s factory.

Started in the US, Greensmith Energy has installed over 70 grid-scale systems across nine countries and offers an industry-leading energy software platform called GEMS, now in its fifth generation. As a Wärtsilä company, Greensmith is accelerating its reach into an expanding global market for programmable energy storage and playing a key role in Wärtsilä’s vision to enable the growth and transition towards renewables through flexibility, reliability and integration.

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