Old PHEV Batteries Get Second Life At EV Bus Charging Station

The 495 kWh energy storage system contains 50 Volkswagen Passat GTE packs (9.9 kWh) and can deliver up to 600 kW of power.

MAN Truck & Bus, in partnership with Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein (VHH) bus operator and Volkswagen, is testing in Hamburg, Germany an energy storage system, built using old batteries from Passat GTE plug-in hybrids.

The battery second life test project consists of modules from fifty 9.9 kWh pack (495 kWh nominal total) and can deliver up to 600 kW of power, which is enough to try to limit peak electricity demand at the bus depot and maybe even lower energy costs.

“There, MAN Truck & Bus and VHH want to work together to test how used batteries behave after initial use in vehicles and as a stationary energy storage system, under real-world operating conditions.”

Energy storage system built using Volkswagen Passat GTE battery modules

VHH operates some 560 buses. The gradual electrification of all of them will require smart energy management to limit power demand.

Assuming just 22 kW charging power for overnight depot recharge, we are talking about more than 10 MW, but we already know that many bus operators prefer to use 50-450 kW DC charging systems. At full scale, power demand skyrockets, which makes energy storage a handy solution.

“Different scenarios are tested using the large storage system, in order to optimise power consumption at the VHH depot. This includes improved utilisation of the network and cushioning of peak loads when charging electric buses (peak shaving). Alexander Adler, responsible for the second use energy storage system project at MAN Truck & Bus confirms this: “With the peak shaving method, the storage system can reduce up to 600 kW of peak load, and thereby lower the costs when using electricity.” Additionally, the project partners anticipate new findings on the ageing behaviour of the batteries, on efficient battery management and on the life cycles of future battery technologies.”

Stefan Sahlmann, Head of MAN Transport Solutions says:

“Battery second use is an extremely important topic in view of the ever-growing electrification of mobility as a whole. In the Bergedorf quarter of Hamburg, we want to investigate how used batteries behave together with our project partner – so that we are able to develop future applications based on that. The project with VHH and Volkswagen is part of our strategy to make transportation of the future sustainable.”

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