BMW Group Malaysia and EV Connection (EVC) have introduced Malaysia’s first Mobile Charging Vehicle at Malaysia Autoshow 2023 and it utilises repurposed EV batteries. Essentially, this is an EV “powerbank” on wheels that can offer DC fast charging for electric vehicles.
The prototype Mobile Charging Vehicle on display uses a Nissan Vanette which has a 30kW DC fast charger at the rear. It has 16 units of repurposed BMW battery modules taken from existing electrified BMW and MINI vehicles at the end of their lifecycles. These batteries originally have a combined capacity of 30kWh. With an estimated State of Health of about 70%, the usable capacity is around 20kWh which should be enough to provide about 100km of driving range in 30 minutes or approximately 40-50km in 15 minutes.
According to BMW, the designed system can provide up to 30kVA three-phase AC power on demand and it can be used to rescue up to two EVs and provide them with enough range to reach the nearest charging stations. In addition, the Mobile Charging Vehicle can also be used to power up to 8 homes in a disaster zone at full capacity. The irony is that this mobile charging vehicle is still running on an internal combustion engine and it would have been better if it ran on 100% electric.
BMW Group Malaysia’s Head of Corporate Communications and Sustainability, Sahi Ambi said, “The repurposing of these end-of-life batteries from our electrified vehicles essentially places them back into the loop to continue serving the EV ecosystem, after they have completed their lifecycle in our vehicles. The closing of this loop recognises the significant value of the precious metals that are in our batteries, which are finite resources on this planet, and prolongs their use as much as possible before they are eventually retired. Our partnership with EV Connection addresses the crucial role we play as leaders in the field of electromobility to not only develop the EV landscape, but to do so in a way that is both circular and responsible.”
EVC’s Technical Director, Dr. Che Hang Seng said, “EV Connection is honoured to be part of this unprecedented innovative initiative with a trusted automotive brand such as BMW in the development of this mobile charger. It is our hope that we will be able to elevate the range anxiety of EV drivers and contribute towards driving the Electrified Mobility revolution in Malaysia.”
The repurposing of old EV batteries for portable energy storage and charging is the perfect example of how waste can be reduced at the end of an EV’s lifecycle. According to BMW, this second-life battery programme is part of their RE:GENERATE initiative to adopt circularity within the organisation as they aim to divert all retired batteries here to further expand on their electrification possibilities. It added that the opportunities include high-voltage solutions such as urban charging hub, roving generators to power communities in disaster zones as well as enabling rural electrification in the years to come.
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