An old bus battery is being trialled as part of an EV charger in Auckland thanks to local fuel distributor Z Energy and British battery storage pioneer Zenobe.
The trial is being undertaken at a Z Energy fast chargers facility in Auckland and uses a portable, refurbished bus battery – a Zenobe Powerskid – that is capable of charging two cars at once via 75kW CCS/CHAdeMO chargers.
The Powerskid means that EV charging capacity can be added without the need to upgrade the electricity network to match increased demand. This means that EV charging could eventually be delivered to locations where upgrading the network or installing a DC charger would not be possible or would be preventatively expensive.
Able to be transported on the back of a flatbed truck and, therefore, delivered virtually anywhere, the Powerskid also helps extend the life of electric mobility batteries by as much as 10 years.
Once these batteries have reached the end of their life – having already served in electric vehicles such as a bus, before moving on to serve as stationary storage – Zenobe then aims to recycle the raw materials and return them to the local supply chain.
“We need the right technology to ensure the switch to electric transport doesn’t put additional pressure on the grid, or consumers,” said Gareth Ridge, country director for Australia and New Zealand at Zenobē.
“This project demonstrates this is possible and supports our work with bus operators across Aotearoa New Zealand to build energy optimisation into their electrification plans.”
Zenobe is currently operating 40 of these Powerskid batteries utilising second-life batteries around the globe.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.