In a shed in the parking lot, BMW keeps lithium-ion batteries after they've been removed from electric cars. There are all kinds of potential projects for these batteries, Dempster says. Someday, the industry could support an end-of-life lithium-ion battery market, depending on several factors, including the way we finance electric cars in the future.
Right now, the shed of batteries provides energy to some of the car chargers at BMW. Usually, a fast charger accounts for 50 kilowatt-hours of demand to the Mountain View facility's typical 30 kW load, Dempster says. "So if we can use the battery instead of just charging from the grid, it's a much more cost-effective system. We're investigating that."
The BMW Active Tourer hybrid is a concept vehicle that features plug-in capability, an 8-speed transmission and a twin-turbo 3-cylinder engine.