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Innovation Partnership Between Africa GreenTec and AUDI AG

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What does AUDI AG have to do with the sustainable electrification of African villages? Together with the social enterprise Africa GreenTec, the automotive group is showing how batteries from the Audi e-tron can be reused to supply rural regions in Africa with electricity from renewable energies at night.

We can only achieve the global energy transition together with industry. With AUDI AG, we have gained an excellent partner to enable the use of high-performance and high-quality battery storage systems effectively and for a long time and in a meaningful way. We look forward to using the battery modules in our ImpactSites®.
underlines Torsten Schreiber, CEO and founder of Africa GreenTec

According to forecasts by WirtschaftsWoche, Germany's three largest automakers will produce more than 1 million electric cars this year, and the trend is rising (source: WirtschaftsWoche, 2020).

Experts are therefore looking for sensible "2nd-life" applications for batteries from used and test vehicles to further improve the ecological footprint. In most cases, lithium-ion batteries are still very powerful and well suited for stationary use, even if they possibly no longer meet all the criteria for dynamic applications such as mobility.

Africa GreenTec, as a partner to industry, wants to use the innovation partnership to show how 2nd-life batteries can be usefully combined with its own Africa expertise. Access to electricity is the key to sustainable development and can set in motion a growth spiral with many positive knock-on effects. As a pioneer, Africa GreenTec has already been using high-quality lithium-ion storage in its Solartainer® to supply villages in sub-Saharan Africa with electricity since 2015. An intelligent power grid distributes the electricity via a PrePaid tariff system and enables data analysis and remote maintenance.

AUDI AG has now been won as a partner to use powerful batteries from electric vehicles with a high capacity for village electrification.

AUDI AG is pleased to test another exciting application for 2nd-life storage together with Africa GreenTec. Due to the high Audi quality standards, our high-voltage batteries are ideally suited for the specific local climatic conditions. In addition to sustainability and technical aspects, social aspects also play an important role in this cooperation.
says Hagen Seifert, Head of Sustainable Product Concepts at Audi

The new partnership and research cooperation will allow batteries from test vehicles to be used in a pilot project. In the medium term, Africa GreenTec would like to expand the partnership with AUDI AG and equip a total of at least 50 villages in the Sahel region with 2nd-life batteries from e-mobility. The batteries will be returned to Audi AG after use for comprehensive battery recycling.

In addition to the sustainability component in the partnership, Africa GreenTec sees great potential in the ability to reduce the production costs of the Solartainers and store electricity more cheaply. This is an important step towards further driving the impact and scaling of the social enterprise. Since its founding, the company has completely eliminated the use of diesel generators in all projects and relies on lithium-ion batteries for power at night

The Solartainer is the core element of the Africa GreenTec ImpactSites. The ImpactSite demonstrates how technology solutions empower people to shape their future in a sustainable and more self-determined way, and to seize opportunities for new jobs and income. Cold chains and water treatment enable better management of the weather impacts of climate change and new perspectives counteract migration.

September 2021