Skoda is rolling out an innovative way of powering its dealerships by using second-life electric car batteries.
Developed in partnership with Czech firm IBG Cesko, Skoda will install hubs at dealerships that store end-of-life lithium-ion batteries taken from Skoda electric cars, which will then be used to power showrooms, workshops and even rapid charging points.
The power hubs can hold up to 20 batteries from Skoda plug-in hybrid models (Superb iV and Octavia iV), each with 13kWh, or five 82 kWh batteries from the fully electric Enyaq iV.
The system has a total capacity of up to 328kWh, which can be used to supply fast-charging stations with a transmission power of up to 150kW.
The hubs can also store any electricity that’s been created by dealerships’ other green technologies, such as solar panels. The dealer can then draw on this power regardless of the weather or the current load on the local power grid.
Skoda says it can build more than 4,000 of these hubs in the coming years.
The current batteries used in Skoda models have an eight-year warranty, so the batteries being used in the hubs have been fitted out with battery packs from test and pre-production vehicles.
Skoda estimates that the system potentially extends the useful life of the batteries by up to 15 years.
At the end of this second life cycle, Skoda will recycle the cells in a controlled process. The recovered raw materials are then used to produce new batteries.
The project has been given the green light after a successful pilot project in Prague.
The hubs are now available to dealers across mainland Europe and Skoda has received 160 orders from showrooms in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Slovakia.
The hubs could be introduced to the UK in the near future.