11.–12.06.2025 #polismobility

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Deutsche Bahn and Kia are cooperating to reuse retired electric vehicle batteries.

Deutsche Bahn and Kia want to give used batteries a "second life". © Deutsche Bahn AG

Deutsche Bahn and Kia want to give used batteries a "second life". © Deutsche Bahn AG

Intelligent reuse of retired lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles will gain in importance with the market ramp-up of e-mobility in the sense of a circular economy. After their use in the vehicles, the batteries often still have sufficient residual capacity to be processed as electricity buffer storage.

In a strategic partnership between Deutsche Bahn and the Korean car manufacturer Kia, the reuse of accumulators as so-called second-life batteries is being implemented as a business model. The corporate start-up encore of the DB Bahnbau Group is responsible for the process from the procurement of used batteries to the production and sale of the energy storage units. The used batteries are provided to Kia dealers, subjected to a quality/capacity check and bundled into high-performance modules. The areas of application are diverse: surplus electricity from PV systems can thus be stored; DB maintenance and staging plants can use the electricity throughout the day. A first pilot project has been in operation on the EUREF campus in Berlin since July 2022. Further storage facilities are being built at various DB locations: including the ICE plant in Leipzig, the digital test center in Scheibenberg (Saxony) and the station in Zorneding in Bavaria. From 2023, encore will start sales and series production of several hundred electricity storage units.


Michael Müller