Battery reconditioning is the process of repairing a battery that is no longer working properly. This can be done by recharging the battery in a suitable way, or by replacing a damaged component. This process can return the battery to its proper working condition and...
How used EV batteries could revolutionize the power industry and add value to energy storage.
After a battery has used up its initial supply in an electric car, its life is not over. Batteries actually have a ton of potential for reuse in stationary energy storage, adding valuable value along the way. They can also aid in the grid integration of additional renewable energy by lowering the cost of storage.
EV lithium-ion batteries typically have a ten-year lifespan but see severe degradation in the first five years of use. However, an electric vehicle battery can still be utilised in markets that require stationary energy storage but less frequent cycling even after ten years of use (especially 100-300 cycles per year). Mass disposal, which is permitted in most areas under health and safety regulations, or recycling are the alternatives to reuse. Recycling can make sense for battery manufacturers who want to secure high-value metals, like cobalt and nickel, and who can achieve recycling costs that are competitive with mining.
EV batteries receiving a second chance at life
A new opportunity for the power sector is emerging as the number of electric cars (EV) on the road increases globally. Stationary storage powered by used EV batteries might reach 200 gigawatt-hours by 2030.
Old Electric Vehicle batteries can be revived in four easy steps.
Since the second-life batteries that come from EVs would be suitable to meet numerous storage applications, the rapid growth of EVs could offer a market for storage applications with a global value reaching $30 billion by 2030. But before a viable second-life battery market can develop, there are a number of obstacles that must be solved. To do this, suppliers, end users, and industry authorities must all take specific action.
1. The size, electrode chemistry, and format of current battery packs vary. These variations will continue to grow: Up to 250 new electric vehicle models with batteries from more than 15 manufacturers will be available by 2025. Due to a lack of standards, each battery is created for certain EV models, making refurbishment difficult. Automakers can create their EVs with second-life applications in mind to get around this problem. In order to utilize battery packs from the Nissan Leaf for stationary distributed and utility-scale storage systems, Nissan, for instance, forged a relationship with Sumitomo Corporation.
2. The price difference between new and old batteries will begin to close as new batteries become more affordable. We predict that, at the current rate of learning, the cost advantage that second-hand batteries are anticipated to show in the middle of the 2020s could fall to about 25% by 2040. To justify the performance constraints of used batteries in comparison to new options, this cost differential must continue to be sufficiently wide. Businesses can industrialize and scale remanufacturing operations to lower costs and maintain the value difference between new and used batteries in order to be competitive in the face of lowering new lithium-ion battery costs.
3. Higher requirements for second-life battery performance, safety, and quality must be established. Standards that categorize the performance potential of batteries across various storage applications are now being developed by a number of international institutions and private sector coalitions, including OEMs and second-life battery companies. Transparency in the supply of goods and market demand will result from this. Establishing a body to periodically assess and improve battery standards and submit a yearly report on operating benchmarks and average costs may help this emerging sector develop even further.
4. Whether an EV battery should be recycled or reused is not currently covered by any regulations. Due to regional variations in recycling and reuse rates, OEMs, second-life battery manufacturers, and potential customers are left in the dark regarding who is ultimately responsible for end-of-life product stewardship. Stakeholders can establish new business models to properly capture the value at hand by proactively determining which value-maximizing path—recycling or reuse—is most suited. For instance, Renault uses a structured procedure to identify the end-of-life pathway rooted in a regional context before engaging in recycling and reuse initiatives with industry partners. This procedure enables it to determine whether recycling would be the best choice or reuse depending on the need for remanufactured battery applications.
Future disposal requirements for millions of Electric Vehicle batteries have already sparked the growth of the recycling and reuse industry. With the help of these emerging sectors, we can integrate renewable energy into our networks and link profit with resource efficiency. While many of the above-mentioned targeted efforts are currently being undertaken by industry participants, even more progressive businesses and governing bodies can take the lead in capturing the potential benefits of second-life batteries.