O BMW Group Brazil, within its pioneering strategy in electric mobility and commitment to sustainability, developed an experimental project, in which it created a charging station for electric vehicles completely disconnected from the public power grid.

The development was carried out by a multidisciplinary team from BMW Group Brazil and local partners. In addition to Strategic Research Center in Solar Energy at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), are also involved in the project Solvi Group, which collects used batteries at the brand's dealerships, and Energy Source, which specializes in manufacturing and assembling energy storage systems with used and later recycled batteries. 

“The future of premium mobility will be electric and infrastructure development is essential. With this new project, we can have a totally ecological and unique solution that will allow customers to supply high voltage batteries in a clean way in their facilities”, says Márcio Fonseca Filho, Customer Support Director at BMW Group Brazil.

The charging system was created from used batteries removed from different units of the BMW i3, the first all-electric model sold in Brazil. The vehicle was developed with a high-voltage battery made up of several modules, which allow quick access and individual replacement of each module in case of need for repair. In case of a specific need for replacement, the batteries can be reused for this charging solution, before being recycled.

The charging station comprises eight sets of solar panels that transform the sun's energy into electricity, which, in turn, is stored in the bank of used batteries, made up of six modules. The modules are coupled to an inverter that, in addition to monitoring the energy produced, powers electric vehicles through a charger of the type BMW Wallbox.

The first tests were satisfactory, increasing the range of an electric vehicle by 100km after two hours of charging. This result makes it possible to advance the idea of using mobile charging units at events or even in distant locations, lacking access to the public electricity grid. In addition, new tests are already planned to increase the energy storage capacity and considerably decrease the recharging time.

Another direct benefit is the use of solar energy and the extension of the useful life of electric batteries within the concept of circular economy. “The BMW Group considers sustainability to be an essential pillar of its business. Even though Brazil has an energy matrix, mostly renewable, such as hydroelectric power, we want to strongly promote projects to use renewable resources already made available by nature, through, for example, the feasibility of a new life cycle for our high-performance batteries. voltage powered by solar energy”, comments Vivaldo Chaves, Director of Operations at BMW Group Brazil.

The electric car refueling station project is still in the testing phase. The BMW Group, which avoided the disposal of used battery modules, started to use them in Brazil. This action reinforces the company's commitment to taking responsibility for the future of sustainable mobility. By 2030, the company will reduce CO emissions2 per vehicle at 80% in production, 40% in use and 20% at suppliers, when compared to 2019.

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