The holistic philosophy: Powered by the wind, from the car to the grid

Feb 22, 2017

Daimler keeps thinking ahead with electric mobility in innovative projects. For example, used smart electric drive batteries are given a second life outside the vehicle as so-called 2nd use battery storage. A "live replacement parts warehouse" for battery systems from the third smart electric drive generation also serves to compensate fluctuations in the German grid. This efficient double usage improves the life cycle assessment and also the life cycle costs of e-mobility. Four years ago Daimler acquired a wind turbine which is used to test CO2-neutral mobility over the entire life cycle of the last smart electric drive model series in the framework of a pilot project.

The life cycle of an e-vehicle battery needn't end with operation in a car; the batteries can be further used for stationary battery storage. Because with this type of use slight loss of power is not important, which means that cost-effective operation in stationary applications is possible for an estimated further ten years at least. The further use of the lithium-ion modules enables their economic use to be virtually doubled.

The world's largest 2nd use battery storage facility is currently being set up in Lünen, Westphalia. Systems from second generation smart electric drive vehicles are bundled in Lünen to create a stationary storage facility with capacity of 13 MWh. A joint venture between the partners Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC will start operation of the stationary storage on the site of REMONDIS SE before the end of the year and sell it on the German primary regulation energy market.

Live replacement part store

Battery systems that have not yet been fitted in electric cars but are kept as replacement parts can also find a second use as energy storage systems. Before the end of the year the cooperation partners Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE and enercity (Stadtwerke Hannover AG) will start the construction of a new battery storage facility. The special feature: this is a replacement part store for electric mobility battery systems. Around 3000 of the battery modules kept for the third smart electric drive generation are bundled to create a stationary storage facility at the enercity site in Herrenhausen. With total storage capacity of 15 MWh the facility is one of the largest in Europe. Upon completion the energy storage facility will be marketed on the German primary regulation energy market (PRL). At the same time thanks to the controlled charge cycle the battery modules remain fresh for possible use as a replacement part in a smart.

The business model thus makes an important contribution to stabilising the power grid and making electric mobility an economically viable proposition. With increasing fluctuations in electricity feed from renewable energy sources such as wind and sun, such storage units serve to optimally regulate a power frequency that must be kept constant.

Green electricity from a wind turbine

Zero-emission individual mobility – from the well to the wheel – is possible with renewable energies such as sun and wind. In 2012 Daimler AG bought a wind turbine as part of a pilot project in North Bavaria which generates enough electricity to power around 2500 smart electric drives. In this way Daimler and smart are sending a clear signal that CO2-neutral mobility is possible with electric cars.

The wind turbine is currently operated by Primus Energie and is located in the Windpark "Oberland I" (municipality of Helmbrechts) around 150 metres from the A9, the main transport artery between Munich and Berlin. With a nominal output of 2.3 megawatts per year the onshore wind energy plant type Enercon E82 generates enough green electricity to run approximately 2500 smart fortwo electric drives until the end of their life cycle.