Call it an idea whose time has come if you like but we’re expecting every car manufacturer dabbling or producing electric vehicles of their own to also extend feelers into homes, by supplying storage batteries created using their EV R&D. BMW is just the latest company to do so, announcing a “…stationary energy storage system solution integrating its BMW i3 vehicle battery” yesterday at the Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition 29.
The company joins Tesla, who have the Powerwall, and Mercedes Benz, who are also working on their own home battery tech, in targeting the home. The difference is that BMW’s BECK (we think) is using the whole BMW i3 battery system, apparently the first company to do so. Tesla hasn’t yanked their car batteries whole and breathing and stuffed them into the Powerwall, for instance.
BMW intends on making 22kWh and 33kWh versions of their home battery system available, enough to power most homes for at least 24 hours. BMW plans to offer a solution where solar power (or just a supply of working utility juice) is stored in case something Eskom-ish happens. What else is unique is that BMW will be offering the systems with both new and repurposed (read: old) i3 batteries. These so-called 2nd Life batteries would be a tidy way to prolong the lifespan of ageing motor vehicle batteries before they need to be recycled. Neat.
Pricing and availability aren’t known yet but BMW will likely be targeting North America and Germany, in the first wave at least.