Hyundai has signed a memorandum of understanding with OCI Solar Power, one of the largest utility-scale solar energy developers in Texas, and CPS Energy, America’s largest municipally-owned, fully-integrated electric and natural gas utility, to test recycled electric vehicle batteries for solar energy storage.
The three companies will work together to install an energy storage system (ESS) developed by Hyundai in September 2022. They will then analyze data from the project and share it with one another.
“CPS Energy has been a visionary leader for solar projects in Texas. And now, nearly 10 years after we began developing solar and storage solutions in Texas, we are stepping up our green-energy game,” said Charles Kim, CEO of OCI Solar Power. “This new collaboration among Hyundai Motor Group, CPS Energy, and OCI Solar Power, will make us one of the first to study the performance and cost benefits of redeploying EV batteries.”
While solar power is plentiful and green, the power must be stored to match users’ habits, making some form of battery important. Electric vehicle batteries, meanwhile, may lose enough efficiency after 10 years to make them less suitable for automotive use. They are, however, still efficient enough to hold energy for the power grid, which would keep them out of landfills.
“Hyundai Motor Group will verify the possibilities and effectiveness of the ESS business in the North American market through this partnership,” said Jae Hyuk Oh, Vice President of Energy Business Development Group of Hyundai Motor Group. “The Group plans to expand its energy solution business via grafting hydrogen energy to the battery system, and provide flexibility against energy volatility in the US electricity market.”
Other manufacturers, like Volkswagen, are also looking for ways to use their batteries after the cars they are attached to have outlived their usefulness. The German automaker says it can make new batteries from recycled old ones, sparing the planet 1.3 tonnes of CO2 per battery.