By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group said Wednesday it will partner with solar firm OCI Solar Power and U.S.-based utility firm CPS Energy to recycle used electric vehicle batteries in the energy storage system (ESS).
Hyundai Motor, the U.S. subsidiary of Korean solar firm OCI and CPS Energy signed a memorandum of understanding for a pilot project to build the utility-scale ESS in San Antonio, Texas.
Hyundai Motor said it will develop the ESS, while OCI Solar Power will procure the storage system components, and San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy will operate the project.
The three companies together will build the system and analyze data from the ESS made of used batteries to study its performance and cost benefits.
Hyundai Motor said the test program will pave the way for its redeploying of spent EV batteries in the ESS system in Texas in September 2022.
In light of the project, the three companies will further expand partnership in other renewable energy projects.
Lithium-ion batteries, a key component that determines an EV's driving range and performance, inevitably degrade with time and use, and they are recommended for replacement within 5-10 years due to slowing charging speeds and shorter driving range.
One idea is to reuse still-useful batteries in less-demanding applications, such as ESS, which store power during off-peak hours to complement intermittency of renewable energy produced by solar or wind power.
Hyundai Motor Group, which aims to release 23 EV models by 2025 across Hyundai Motor and Kia models, has been working with its battery suppliers and local energy companies to explore a feasible, sustainable second life for EV batteries.