One of most important components of electric vehicles is their battery. Without batteries, your car will not be able to move. And, as with most electronic devices, one of the main reasons you should buy new is because their batteries no longer have enough energy. But is it? Is there a way reuse batteries old?

This is not something everyone can do at home. But with the right technology, EV batteries can be reused. You just need to look at Tesla, one of the industry leaders. In its 2021 impact report, Tesla said its battery recycling system allowed it extract up to 92% of raw materials. This grew into 1,500 tons of nickel, 300 tons of copper and 200 tons of cobalt.

But you shouldn’t act so radically. The batteries themselves can processed in different ways. To begin with, your Estimated useful life On average it is from 8 to 10 years. There are other components in an electric vehicle that don’t last as long. Be that as it may, in the hands of real professionals, reusing batteries is a task that can be accomplished and thus give them a second life. What is it called today circular economy. Let’s look at a few examples.

Recover raw materials

As we saw earlier, Tesla’s strategy is: extract raw materials from batteries. This is a somewhat radical way to reuse batteries, but sometimes it is also the most economical. Especially if this process is focused on raw materials are easier to obtainhow are they cobalt or copper. On the other side, lithiumHe manganese or nickelwhich can also be separated from the battery require processes that are not always economically viable for manufacturers and other companies in the sector.

However, as costs become cheaper this extraction and taking into account price fluctuations of these raw materials on world markets, the most efficient use of batteries by obtaining materials for their manufacture will be increasingly more economical and tasty from a business point of view. In addition to the convenience of reducing CO2 emissions and environmental impact during the extraction of these materials in mines, their subsequent transportation and the manufacture of batteries.

Nissan decides to recycle batteries for solar street lights

Public lighting

Five years ago, Nissan announced that it would reuse batteries their electric vehicles for street lighting from Namie, a city in Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan. The area is famous for the earthquake that occurred in 2011, which resulted in a tsunami. Moreover, in Fukushima Prefecture, this natural disaster caused serious damage to a nuclear power plant near the city.

Thus, in reconstruction process In Fukushima, companies like Nissan contributed their grain of sand. Dispose of batteries that they will lose some of their charge but they still serve as batteries for public lighting. In particular, the announcement indicated that street lights with solar panels would be installed. During the day, photovoltaic cells will charge batteries. And at night they illuminated the streets of Namie.

Private houses with solar panels need to store energy

Reuse batteries for your home

As we’ve seen, the idea behind projects like the previous one is that even if a battery loses autonomy, that doesn’t mean it’s useless. It may not be useful for powering an electric car, but it is less demanding use who need batteries. Similar to the street lamps we saw in the previous example or for store energy for home.

Currently, several companies offer this type of service. Reuse batteries to make them last energy batteries. In fact multiple batteries connected squeeze out all the available autonomy. Add-ons such as monitoring and cooling systems are added to the batteries. The resulting product is a large container that stores electricity generated using solar panels. And this electricity can be used to heat water, cook food or light your home.

Volvo partners to use batteries to charge electric vehicles
Credit: Volvo

Charging batteries for electric vehicles

In April 2021, Volvo announced a partnership with BatteryLoop. From this union emerges a project which consists of promoting charging stations for cars and electric bicycles. Instead of being connected to the electrical grid, these charging points are equipped with batteries that are charged by solar panels. And these batteries recycled batteries.

Although this particular project was concentrated in one location, the headquarters of a medical company Essityin Gothenburg is something that can be scaled up and projected to other regions and companies that want to make it easier recharging electrical appliances or vehicles. In short, EV batteries can be used to save the received energy Using solar panels to recharge other vehicles or electrical devices.

And last year Iberdrola And BiPlanet They did something similar: they installed the first charging point that uses recycled EV batteries. It is located between Valencia and Madrid, in 175 kilometer of the A3 highway. This charging point has a charging power of 100 kW, a capacity of 200 kWh and can be works for two hours at full capacity.

Batteries reused to light a football stadium
Source: Johan Cruyff Arena.

Recycled batteries that light up the stadium

Street lights, charging stations, energy storage… If you connect enough batteries, you can power whatever you want. So, in the summer of 2018. Johan Cruyff Arena Amsterdam, the Netherlands, opened a new electrical storage system 3 megawatts of power and built from recycled electric vehicle batteries.

They participated in the project Nissan, the Johan Cruyff Arena itself, companies such as Eaton, BAM and The Mobility House, as well as the Amsterdam Climate and Energy Foundation. The result was a system 3 megawatt energy storage which supplies electricity to the stadium, its visitors, those living near the stadium, and is even part of the Dutch electrical grid.

To make this system a reality, they combined 148 Nissan Leaf batteries connected by energy conversion units. And to power these batteries, 4,200 solar panels are installed on the roof of the football stadium.

Source: Hiper Textual

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I'm Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I've written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.


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