Used BMW i3 batteries have been put to work to store energy at a public DC fast charging station in Union City, California. The project initiated by EVgo will use these second-life batteries to store energy from the grid produced during peak solar intervals. Customers can then fast-charge their electric vehicles during high demand periods.
The facility has two 50-kW DC fast chargers and integrates two BMW i3 battery packs into a single housing. Each second-life battery pack has a capacity of 22 kWh and offers a 30 kW/44 kWh energy storage system capable of demand charge management when combined with a 30 kW inverter.
BMW supplied the recycled energy storage packs while Princeton Power Systems provided inverter hardware and integrated the inverter with the battery packs. Kisensum developed software controls for the battery system and managed software integration for the overall site level demand charge management.
EVgo plans to deploy additional energy storage resources at stations across the network and sees energy storage as a key technology to enable affordable DC fast charging. With support from the California Public Utilities Commission, the company plans to implement projects that demonstrate energy storage to support electric vehicle fast charging, vehicle-to-grid technology and high power electric vehicle charging (50kW+).
In 2017, EVgo’s network of chargers provided the equivalent of 40 million miles of emissions-free electric driving, a notable year-over-year increase compared to the approximately 26 million EV miles charged by the network in 2016.