Electric vehicles. A word that is forever in our collective vocabulary in the world because of the need to cut down fossil fuels in the world today. We've reported on Tesla's recent intentions to produce half a million of their Model 3s by the end of 2018, Toyota investigating what could be powering vehicles in the future and almost every automaker out there trying to move their operations to cleaner processes after being named and shamed in emission scandals.
Cars are being powered by the kind of lithium-ion technology you'd find in energy storage units that are now making their way into houses. However, carmakers are reaching the conclusion that EV (Electric vehicle) batteries can be reused AFTER they've been utilized inside a car. There is a point that EVs come to when the battery no longer functions as it should, under guidelines that would render an EV operational. However, it is said that even after it is has served its purpose, it still has 70% of its energy storage that can still be utilized. This is allegedly surprising the industry due to recently thinking that the batteries wouldn't have much use after used in vehicles.
Navigant Research recently observed that a 2012 Chevrolet Volt had driven up to 300,000 miles without any "battery degradation" issues.
The idea is that once the battery has been used in the EV and decommissioned for use in a car, it can be added to a solar PV system and power a house. Essentially, making second-hand car batteries reusable and expanding a growing trend of grid peak time shaving.
The batteries inside electric vehicles have also been suggested as a possible energy source for the grid whilst they are parked in an area, which would assist utilities at alleviating some of the strain on the grid. Now with the reusability factor of these batteries, the possibilities of how many hours kilowatt-hours could be generated is staggering.
Pablo Valencia, GM's senior manager for Battery Life Cycle Management said: "Even after the battery has reached the end of its useful life in a Chevrolet Volt, up to 80 percent of its storage capacity remains.
The technology will no doubt grow and grow as more electric vehicles are sold and the battery technology is further developed to see how EVs batteries could be repurposed after the use in cars. This is not new information, the feasibility of reuse has been spoken about since 2014. In ScienceDirect in a journal entitled Environmental feasibility of re-use of electric vehicle batteries the researchers wrote: "The magnitude of CO2 mitigation associated with battery re-use is similar to that of switching from using a conventional vehicle to an electric vehicle, meaning the greenhouse gas benefits of vehicle electrification could be doubled by extending the life of EV batteries, and better using off-peak low-cost clean electricity."
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