Giving EV batteries a second life for sustainability and profit – TechCrunch

Automakers and startups are eying methods to reuse batteries earlier than they’re despatched for recycling

Electric cars and vehicles appear to have the whole lot going for them: They don’t produce tailpipe emissions, they’re quieter than their fossil fuel-powered counterparts and the underlying structure permits for roomier and usually sleeker designs. But the common-or-garden lithium-ion battery powering these cars and vehicles leads a tough life.
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Irregular charging and discharge charges, intense temperatures and many partial cost cycles trigger these batteries to degrade within the first 5 to eight years of use, and ultimately, they find yourself in a recycling facility.

Instead of sending batteries straight to recycling for uncooked materials restoration — and leaving unrealized worth on the desk — startups and automakers are discovering methods to reuse batteries as a part of a small and rising market.

That’s as a result of the common electrical automobile lithium-ion battery can retain as much as 70% of their charging capability after being eliminated. The business proposition for second-life batteries is subsequently intuitive: earlier than sending the battery to a recycler, automakers can doubtlessly generate extra income by placing it to make use of in one other software or promoting it to a third-party.

Low client uptake and the comparatively current introduction of EVs to the market has stored the availability of used batteries low, however automakers are already pursuing a variety of second-life initiatives.

To identify solely a few such initiatives which have popped up lately, Nissan is utilizing outdated batteries to energy small robots; French carmaker Groupe Renault, with companions, is launching stationary power storage programs made with outdated EV batteries; and Audi Environmental Foundation, the daughter group of Audi AG, labored with Indian startup Nunam to construct photo voltaic nanogrids out of used e-tron battery modules.

Other OEMs, like Lucid Motors, BMW and Proterra, are incorporating reuse ideas into their battery design. In reality, Lucid has constructed its batteries to work throughout its electrical automobile and power storage merchandise, including in second-life uses, Chief Engineer Eric Bach informed TechCrunch. And BMW has used a ‘plug-and-play’ idea with the batteries in its i3 mannequin in order that they are often simply eliminated and inserted into second-life functions, BMW spokesperson Weiland Bruch stated in an interview with TechCrunch. “We believe that battery second-life will become its own self-standing business field,” he added.

A brand new lease on battery life

Automakers are more and more bullish on second-life makes use of, although the dimensions of their position on this budding market continues to be unclear. Matthew Lumsden, CEO of UK-based Connected Energy, informed TechCrunch that he has observed a shift previously two years the place some OEMs have begun viewing batteries as an asset moderately than a legal responsibility.

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