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Volkswagen creates used-battery megapowerbank for EV charging

Image of the pilot fast-charging park at the Zwickau vehicle plant

The pilot fast-charging park at the Zwickau vehicle plant

15th July 2022

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Volkswagen has commissioned a pilot fast-charging park at its Zwickau vehicle plant, in Germany, supplied with energy largely from a so-called power storage container (PSC). 

The PSC is an enormous electricity storage unit and consists of 96 cell modules with a net capacity of 570 kWh. 

All cell modules in the PSC were formerly installed as batteries in preproduction models of the ID.31 and ID.42 electric vehicles (EVs), and have now been given a second purpose.

The German car maker believes that fast-charging infrastructure such as this can be built nearly anywhere, even in places with a low-capacity grid connection.

“Reusing batteries is important for the future and it’s closely linked to the acceleration in the trend toward electric mobility,” says Volkswagen Sachsen finance and controlling MD Karen Kutzner.

“With the PSC, Volkswagen Sachsen is demonstrating a practical, cost-effective and useful case to enable cell modules at the end of their service lives to have a second life.

“[Also], this automotive power bank could be used wherever the capacity of the grid connection is too low, but there is demand for powerful charging infrastructure. 

“Innovative ideas like this could provide renewed impetus for the critical buildup of fast-charging infrastructure,” says Kutzner.

As a large battery storage unit, VW believes the PSC offers a cost-effective alternative to a transformer station, as it enables large quantities of energy to be provided in a short time without overburdening the electricity grid. 

The automotive power bank could enable high-power charger (HPC) infrastructure to be built in the future where previously only AC charging at a maximum of 11 kW has been possible, for instance in residential areas. 

For fast-charging parks with HPCs, transformer stations are normally installed with a connection to a powerful medium-voltage grid that operates 24 hours a day and requires a significant initial investment – this in a situation where the average charging time is only a few hours a day.

Another advantage of the PSC is that the temporary storage of energy allows for the avoidance of high basic costs that would otherwise be incurred during standby operation, even when no vehicles are charging.

The charging park at the Zwickau plant is made up of four charging stations, each with an output of 150 kW, which can also be divided into two outputs of 75 kW. 

This means that up to eight vehicles can charge at the same time. 

The electricity comes from the adjacent solar panel installation, among other sources. 

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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