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Tuesday, 06 July 2021 21:11

Second-Life EV Batteries Poised to Rock the Power Delivery System

Written by Gene Wolf, T&D World

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Have you ever wondered about what will be done with the growing mountain of used electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries?

For the past decade, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of EVs on the road, and it appears this is only the tip of the iceberg. The important fact here is those EVs have been around long enough that an increasing number of owners are beginning battery replacements.

 

Typically, EV manufacturers recommend replacing EV batteries when they are around 8 years old or hit 100,000 miles of operation. At that point, Li-ion batteries have lost about 20% of their capacity and start having problems with their load-cycle.

 

There is, however, still 80% of their capacity remaining that some experts refer to as unrealized value left on the table. If all the projections for EV growth are accurate, it’s expected more than 6 million Li-ion battery packs will be replaced every year by 2030.

 

That represents a lot of valuable stranded energy storage capacity, which could change the power grid dramatically. Rather than disposing of these Li-ion batteries, let’s concentrate on the repurposing approach.

 

It’s the most sensible approach for the global economy with today’s emphasis on sustainability. There are several options available, but salvaging these retired batteries for alternative power roles will have the greatest impact to the grid.

 

Second-Life Battery

 

Logically, converting end-of-life EV Li-ion batteries into second-life batteries is a good business decision. This is especially true when we know these EV batteries still have about 80% of their original capacity.

 

Heck, our more tech savvy customers have recognized this treasure a long time ago. They have been buying discarded EV batteries on eBay since they became available. These hobbyists have reclaimed them for use in many different types of DYI applications, so it makes sense for the business to do likewise.

 

The marketing research company IDTechEX published an interesting report, “Second-life EV Batteries 2020-2030,” in 2020. The IDTechEX report said...


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