Audi future performance days

Given that the high-voltage traction batteries in its modern hybrid and electric vehicles are typically designed for customer use for up to eight years (or 150,000 km), Audi believes that even beyond that point, its batteries “still possess a large portion of their nominal capacity.”

Rather than put all that potential to waste, the German car maker has drummed up a plan to convert its old batteries into stationary energy stores. Setting up an electric grid with a photovoltaic system that harvests energy from the sun, Audi says that just one container featuring four traction batteries is capable of yielding up to 20 kW of power on a sunny day.

The grid features a second container that houses the connection and control technology, converting direct current (DC) to alternative current (AC) at a standard voltage of 400 volts. When the batteries finally do reach 10% of their capacities, they will then be sent for recycling.

For the time being, this energy storage concept is suitable for powering vehicle quick-charging stations, offering an output of more than 250 kW. Although, Audi also confirmed that it has plans for larger 500 kWh systems that will be able to power higher energy drawing items.

The first test site is already in operation near Audi’s home in Ingolstadt, but the energy storage concept can just as well serve as a temporary alternative source of power in everyday homes, acting as a buffer for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.