Nissan Leaf battery. Photo: Nissan
A "4R" Business
Nissan and Sumitomo (a huge business group from Japan) announced today plans to "Reuse, Resell, Refabricate and Recycle" lithium-ion batteries previously used in electric cars, "giving them a 'second-life' as energy-storage solutions in markets worldwide." These used batteries can spend their second life storing energy for the grid (for example, from solar panels), a market that is expected to grow to the equivalent of 50,000 car batteries per year by 2020 in Japan alone.
Nissan Leaf electric car. Photo: Nissan
Squeezing More Utility Out of Electric Car Batteries
Nissan's Chief Operating Officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, said that this side business will enable his company (which will soon launch the Leaf electric car) to lower the prices of its EVs by "taking into account the resale value of their batteries."
That's pretty savvy, both for business and for the environment. Of course it would be possible to simply recycle lithium-ion batteries, but even better to give them a second life in a context where their performance isn't quite as critical as in vehicles.
Even after the end of normal vehicle life, the high-performance lithium-ion batteries used by Nissan will retain 70 to 80 percent of residual capacity and can be reused and resold to various industries as a solution to energy-storage.
This could mean that electric vehicles could displace fossil fuels from transportation and at the same time help clean up the grid by providing some storage for intermittent sources of clean energy (wind, solar).
Via Sumitomo, WSJ
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