Why Europe’s second life BESS market is ahead of North America’s

While battery storage growth in the US continues to vastly outpace that of Europe, the repurposing of used EV batteries into second life stationary storage systems is far more developed in the latter.

Europe has a handful of companies specialising in deploying used EV batteries into stationary battery energy storage systems (BESS), including Connected Energy (UK), Evyon (Norway), BatteryLoop (Sweden), Octave (Belgium), Tricera, encore and Stabl Energy (all Germany).

Meanwhile, despite having a much larger overall energy storage market, North America appears to have just a few: Canada-based Moment Energy and US-based groups Smartville Inc, RePurpose Energy and B2U.

That is partially because of more stringent requirements on automotive OEMs to find solutions for their EV batteries once they can no longer be used on the road, be it recycling, repurposing or re-using. In the US, responsibility for this falls on the end-user, Moment’s CEO Edward Chiang told Energy-Storage.news.

“Consumers can’t pay these insane costs for recycling. Governments are moving towards Europe’s approach. California is pushing hard on this and the federal government is too,” he said.

But the other, perhaps definitive reason is that for a second life BESS to be deployed in the US it needs to be built in a facility certified with UL 1974, a standard specifically for second life storage systems from the certification body. The only one in the world is in Japan, belonging to 4R Energy Corporation, a JV between Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation, which was certified in 2019.

Moment Energy is building a facility in British Columbia which will be the first in North America with the certification. “We’re working directly with UL on it so it’s just a matter of time,” Chiang said.

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