SecondLifeBatteries project successfully completed

The disposal of used batteries from electromobility poses a new challenge. The project aims to reuse previously used e-batteries that no longer provide full power.

f.l: Hans Roth (Saubermacher), Robert Schmied (Grazer Energieagentur), Manuela Pfaffinger (Smart Power), Robert Fischer (AVL), Theresia Vogel (Klima- und Energiefonds), Kathrin Nachbaur (Grazer Energieagentur), Gerald Lackner (AVL DiTEST), Urs Harnik-Lauris (Energie Steiermark), Ralf Mittermayr (Saubermacher), Mathias Schaffer (Green Energy Lab)


The aim was to enable the continued use of electric car batteries that are no longer suitable for use in vehicles as power storage units in stationary applications. At the same time, special instruments were developed to assess the condition and state of health of the e-car battery. The resulting independence from the battery manufacturer creates the conditions for a free market for Second Life batteries.

When electric vehicle batteries only deliver 80 percent of their capacity, they are disposed of as they are no longer suitable for demanding mobility applications. The aim of the “SecondLifeBatteries4Storage” project was to show that they can be used in their second life as electricity storage units in stationary applications. This simultaneously delays the disposal of batteries, thereby extending their service life, and offers an innovative storage solution for renewable energy, among other things.

For this purpose, the e-car batteries are combined into larger, stationary electricity storage systems and can thus be used to cover peak loads in the industrial sector (“peak shaving”), to optimize self-consumption in combination with a PV system, as well as for grid stabilization and as a blackout reserve.

The use of energy storage systems such as “SecondLifeBatteries4Storage” is also playing an increasingly important role in the optimal integration of electricity from renewable energy sources and the cost-effective use of electricity. “The tool for automatic storage dimensioning based on detailed load profiles not only ensures that the optimum size of the e-storage system can be determined, but also that a photovoltaic system can be optimally integrated if necessary,” explains Reinhard Ungerböck, project manager at the Graz Energy Agency.

Theresia Vogel, Managing Director of the Climate and Energy Fund: “Energy storage systems are a central key to the energy transition, because we need a robust and secure system for Austria as a business location. We are delighted that this topic is being addressed in the ‘Green Energy Lab’ flagship region. A second life for batteries, which are one of the most expensive components of an electric car, shows that a second, long and successful life for car batteries is possible and makes economic sense. This approach stabilizes the system, conserves resources and contributes to climate protection.”

Mathias Schaffer, board member of the Green Energy Lab: “The “2nd-Life Batteries” project is a really successful example of how applied research can work through to a possible market launch. Key success factors here include the strong commitment of all partners and the human factor – a project team that has developed the solutions to this point with know-how, courage and passion.

New development for determining the condition of e-car batteries

For the targeted planning and realization of a “second life” of batteries, it is necessary to determine the exact condition of a battery and to decide on the basis of the battery condition whether and how the battery can be reused or must be recycled directly. In the course of the project, the project partners AVL DiTEST and AVL List have developed a mobile rapid analysis device and an electronic evaluation tool for this purpose, which enables the rapid and cost-effective testing and condition analysis of different batteries from different producers and their best possible subsequent use.

The 96 kWh pilot system manufactured by Smart Power has been successfully balancing out the peak loads of the waste disposal company Saubermacher at the Premstätten site since fall 2020. The prototype has now been transferred to the Saubermacher site in Feldkirchen near Graz, where the system optimizes the company’s own electricity consumption from the photovoltaic system and thus continues to contribute to resource conservation and sustainability.


The project was funded by the Climate and Energy Fund and carried out as part of the Green Energy Lab under the direction of the Graz Energy Agency. AVL List, AVL DiTEST, Energie Steiermark, Saubermacher and Smart Power were involved as partners.