Second-life storage from used Audi batteries electrifies villages in Africa

Second-life storage from used Audi batteries electrifies villages in Africa-electrifies

Audi is involved in a new partnership for the sustainable electrification of African villages: together with the social enterprise Africa GreenTec, the car manufacturer is showing how batteries from the Audi e-tron can be reused to provide rural regions in Africa with electricity from renewable energies at night to supply.

“We can only achieve the global energy transition together with industry. With Audi, we have gained an excellent partner to use powerful and high-quality battery storage for a long time and sensibly,” says Torsten Schreiber, CEO and founder of Africa GreenTec.

According to forecasts, the three largest German automobile manufacturers alone will produce more than one million electric cars this year, and the trend will continue to rise in the future. Therefore, experts are already increasingly looking for sensible second-life applications for batteries from used and test vehicles in order to further improve the ecological footprint and to use the batteries for as long as possible before they go into recycling. In most cases, the lithium-ion batteries are still very powerful after being used in an electric vehicle and are well suited for stationary use, even if they no longer meet all the criteria for dynamic applications such as mobility. Researchers assume that lithium-ion batteries will have a service life of well over 20 years.

Africa GreenTec, as a partner to industry, would like to use the innovation partnership to show how second-life batteries can be sensibly combined with their own Africa expertise. Access to electricity is the beginning of sustainable development and can start a spiral of growth with many positive consequences. As a pioneer, Africa GreenTec has been using lithium-ion storage in its solar container to supply villages in sub-Saharan Africa with electricity since 2015. An intelligent power grid distributes the power via a prepaid tariff system and enables data analysis and remote maintenance.

Africa GreenTec has now partnered with Audi to use powerful high-capacity electric vehicle batteries for village electrification. “Audi is pleased to be testing another exciting use case for second-life storage together with Africa GreenTec. Thanks to the high Audi quality standards, our high-voltage batteries are ideally suited to the special local climatic conditions. In addition to sustainability and technical aspects, however, social aspects play an important role in this cooperation, “says Hagen Seifert, Head of Sustainable Product Concepts at Audi. Thanks to the new partnership and research cooperation, batteries from test vehicles are being used as part of a pilot project. In the medium term, Africa GreenTec would like to expand the partnership with Audi and equip at least 50 villages in the Sahel zone with second-life e-mobility batteries. After use, the batteries are returned to Audi for comprehensive battery recycling.

In addition to the sustainability component in the partnership, Africa GreenTec sees great potential in the possibility of reducing the production costs of the solar containers and storing the electricity more cheaply. An important step in further driving the impact and scaling of the social enterprise. The company has been completely dispensing with the use of diesel generators in all projects and relies on lithium-ion batteries for the supply at night.

The solar container is the core element of the Africa GreenTec ImpactSites. The ImpactSite demonstrates how technology solutions enable people to shape their future in a sustainable and self-determined manner and to seize opportunities for new jobs and income opportunities. Cold chains and water treatment make it possible to better deal with the weather effects of climate change – and all these new perspectives can counteract migration movements.

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5 thoughts on “Second-life storage from used Audi batteries electrifies villages in Africa”

  1. Then let’s hope that after 2nd life the batteries really end up in the recycling system and aren’t burned down somewhere on a large heap of rubbish, as is often the case in Africa.

  2. Since when does Audi build electric cars ??? And now beautiful have to dispose of the old batteries to Africa under the guise of “Second-Life” ? That’ll probably be a lot thicker.
    Batteries are shooting from the ground but from new recycling works one hears nothing.

    People are easier to deceive than to convince of the deception.

  3. I wonder if it wouldn’t be cheaper and more environmentally friendly if Africans bought new cheap LFP batteries directly from China, i.e. without going through Europe. Then they would not only have “second life” but also “first life”.

  4. A PR gag intended to distract attention from Audi‘s “Vorsprung durch Technik” (laughs). In fact, this is more of a cheap disposal.

  5. As always, you can always find the fly in the ointment. As you can easily see from the comments here. Even if that sounds a lot like PR, it shows what is possible.

    But if you don’t have any solutions, it’s a lot easier to complain. Or what solutions do Messrs Marco, Tobi and Richard suggest? Fossil fuels continue to fizzle out?

    Or build solar cells in front of the African population (neo-colonialism) in order to generate hydrogen from it, which then reaches us at great expense and with great losses?

    So that we, washed green, can continue to satisfy our hunger for more and more energy. Hell, who cares and already Africa! Let them stay there and break each other’s heads with the weapons we supplied for oil.

    It could also go on like this with the oh so great hydrogen. You supply hydrogen, some make a fortune from the energy blocking sheep and we continue to supply you with weapons and money for corrupt sheikhs. Everything is wonderful.

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