Partnership For Second-Life Electric Vehicle Batteries

Finland’s Wärtsilä and Japan’s Hyundai Motor Group have signed a technology and commercial partnership designed to utilize second-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries in the energy storage markets.

The announcement said the global partnership will combine Hyundai’s expansion in electric vehicles, with Wärtsilä’s energy business, as well as advanced energy storage technologies and software through Wärtsilä’s acquisition of Greensmith Energy.

“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. Hyundai is strengthening its leadership in clean technology and sustainability by participating in the new energy business.”

The partnership will target energy storage products and platforms that maximize Hyundai’s second-life EV batteries to be commercialized in Wärtsilä’s existing customer and channel networks across 177 countries globally.

It is hoped, Wärtsilä said, that the long-term 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 redeployments as well as recycling of materials.

In 2025, it is estimated that 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 of a 1MWh-level ESS that utilizes Hyundai IONIQ Electric and Kia Soul Electric’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 deployed over 70 grid-scale systems across nine countries and offers an energy software platform called GEMS, now in its fifth generation. Greensmith is accelerating its reach into an expanding global market for programmable energy storage.