New systems show that old electric car batteries are suitable as storage for solar systems. This could give many batteries a second life.
The popularity of vehicles with electric motors continues to grow. In Germany alone, around 425,000 electric cars had been registered for road use by the end of October. However, in addition to its many advantages, electromobility also harbors certain risks. This is because it is often still unclear what happens to individual vehicle components after they are decommissioned.
A company from Southern California has now demonstrated that the batteries of electric vehicles can have a second life ahead of them. A 20-hectare field not far from the town of New Cuyama has been home to a solar farm for some time now. It has an output of 1.5 megawatts and charges around 600 e-car batteries in everyday operation.
E-car batteries are suitable for solar systems
These batteries are located in special containers around the solar farm. If the day is cloudy or night falls, they continue to supply the power grid with energy. This in itself is nothing special, were it not for the fact that the plant at New Cuyama uses discarded batteries from electric vehicles for the system.
This is based on an approach developed by B2U Storage Solutions. The company has already opened a similar facility not far from Los Angeles. There, 1,300 discarded batteries store the energy produced. These come from Honda’s Clarity and Nissan’s Leaf models. The total storage capacity is around 28 megawatt hours. That is enough to supply 9,500 households with energy.
First generation of electric vehicles before the end of operation
In future, both facilities will demonstrate that discarded batteries from electric cars are suitable for storing sustainably generated energy. In addition to recycling the electricity storage units, this would open up another way of using the technology beyond its original lifespan. Studies have shown that around three quarters of all discarded batteries are suitable for this purpose.
The first generation of electric vehicles is nearing the end of its service life. However, around 70 percent of the batteries installed could be used for electricity storage. With the system presented by B2U Storage Solutions, the batteries can be installed quickly and easily in the vicinity of solar and wind farms.