Auto maker Škoda is to introduce a range of new power hubs at its retailers that use second-life vehicle batteries. The first generation of these power hubs has been fitted out with battery packs from the manufacturer’s own test and pre-production vehicles.
Developed in partnership with Czech-based technology company IBG Česko, the systems will be used to power Škoda retailers and their workshop buildings, alongside providing rapid charging stations for customers. The hubs will store sustainably generated electricity in end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, that Škoda says will eventually be taken from its own electric models.
Prior to the systems deployment, a successful pilot project was carried out in Prague before the energy storage hubs were made available to selected retailers in Europe. At present, 160 pre-orders have been made, with hubs heading to dealers in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Slovakia. Škoda states that the scheme may extend to the UK in the future.
Each power hub contains up to 20 batteries sourced from the company’s own plug-in hybrid models, rated between 13kWh and 82kWh (if sourced from the all-electric Enyaq iV). A total system capacity of 328kWh can be achieved, capable of supplying fast-charging stations with up to 150kW of power.
The OEM estimates that the system may extend the use of second-life batteries by up to 15 years. When no longer needed, the car manufacturer will then recycle the cells, with the recovered raw materials then being utilized to produce new batteries.
Škoda estimates that it has the potential to build over 4,000 units in the next few years.