500 BMW i3 batteries are being used as energy storage in an experiment here in the UK. The project, in Pen y Cymoed in rural South Wales, is charged by onshore wind farms and then the electricity is fed into the National Grid at times of higher demand.
This is among the first example of car manufacturers making use of end of life battery packs in innovative ways and answering the fears of eco campaigners the world over.
In Germany, BMW are selling end of life i3 battery packs to provide whole of house power that will be charged via a solar array. With an option for either 22 or 33kwh packs, the power can be fed into the grid or used to charge your electric car.
Tesla’s Powerwall is the best-known household backup and has been available since 2015. Tesla sell only the 6.4kwh unit now, having decided that the 10kwh is less suited, and it is intended as a supplementary power unit rather than something to rely on.
In Japan, Nissan in 2011 introduced an emergency power system that used the battery already in a Nissan Leaf EV to provide a day or two of power. A typical Japanese home, which uses 60% the energy of a UK home.