A crucial question arises at a time when electric vehicles are gaining ground: that of recycling or reusing batteries . Most of them, running on lithium-ion, represent a very heavy environmental impact. Both in terms of over-demand on scarce resources and difficulties in the recycling process. Contrary to what one might believe, these batteries do not all end up in the trash and some even begin a new life cycle.
Innovative reuse of batteries
Even though their lifespan is limited in electric vehicles, batteries still retain70 to 80% of their capacity at the end of their life. Sufficient power to pave the way for other interesting uses.
For example, BMWis putting old batteries from its i3 model to new use, finding a use for them at a facility in Leipzig, Germany. These are then used to store the energy accumulated by four wind turbines and then redistribute it on the public network. The manager of this installation, Holger Reiche, explains that the objective is to “maintain stability on the public network“.
Audi is also doing its part, by reusing used lithium-ion batteries to integrate them into its network of fast charging stations.
Our German neighbors are not the only ones to imagine solutions, since Renault is also in the game. The French brand reuses batteries at its Flins and Douais sites in order to regulate the electricity network.
Potentials and challenges of this second life
Other uses also exist, for example to power barges or serve as mobile storage systems for festivals or construction sites. This is what Renault is doing by supplying batteries to the German start-up Betteries.
Nevertheless, the process of reusing batteries is not necessarily simple to set up. Damien Pierre Sainflou, from Stellantis, explains that “this is not a foregone conclusion, there are technical and economic challenges to be met”.
If this reuse presents indisputable ecological advantages, the question of profitability for the groups which take on this challenge. Matthieu Noël, who works at the consulting firm Roland Berger, elaborates by explaining: “we will have new new battery technologies allowing storage for wind and solar power perhaps cheaper than using old car batteries.
Knowing that these initiatives allow the reuse of old batteries is rather reassuring from an ecological point of view. The potential of the projects cited in these articles is certain, and this type of approach should be multiplied for the impact to be real. For the moment, this remains a drop in the ocean of lithium.
- Used EV batteries can find a second life.
- However, it is possible that 8217;in the future, a new battery will be cheaper to produce than a reused battery.
< li>Brands like BMW or Renault, for example, are finding new uses for them in different applications: storing wind energy or powering portable systems.