Second Life for EV Batteries

September 20, 2021

There’s a meme out there that some kind of e-waste problem exists related to Lithium Ion batteries for electric vehicles.
In fact, the potential recycle value of such batteries is only beginning to be realized.

A typical EV battery will cycle many thousands of times, but there may come a point when the the battery will no longer, say, get you from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. At that point, the batteries will still perform at about 80 percent of their original specs, and it’s possible that owners might want to swap them out and sell them to an emerging market for energy storage, where they still have many years of useful life.

4 Responses to “Second Life for EV Batteries”

  1. Anthony William O'brien Says:

    As a comment on your Blog I said a long time ago that this need to happen and here it is. Expect to see more. I said that we need to see serviceability of battery packs and to a limited extent that is happening too. Recycling happening. It is all slowly coming together.

    EVs are still expensive aimed at the sportier end of the market, hopefully we will see the electric shopping trolley level of car soon. No huge range, just too and from the shops and locally working. On average Americans drive 29 miles a day, you do not need a 200 mile battery pack to do that, you are paying a huge premium for a capacity that will rarely be used. In a two car family only one needs the big range. In a one car family, the cost saving would pay for a hire car at holiday time.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      I was the low-hanging fruit for an EV in 2014: I am retired, have a house with a garage, and had no trouble affording a Level 2 charger. It’s a rare day when I use half my range capacity, so I have never in the seven years I’ve had my Leaf charged it anywhere but home.

      I think your two-car/one-car scenarios are the next adopters, but I think only homeowners will avoid “charging anxiety” until public/company chargers become widespread.

      The big win is in fleets, where you don’t need need a charger for every car, and maintenance is cheaper.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Reduce→Reuse→Recycle

      As the video shows, reuse is maturing quickly.

      The Li+ battery recycling sector already has a working—albeit small scale—publicly-traded company Li-Cycle (symbol: LICY). As EV battery retirement is currently at best a trickle, most of their feedstock is from cast-off/defective material from the growing number of lithium battery makers, and they plan to grow their business as retired EV batteries increase over the years.

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    “In a one car family, the cost saving would pay for a hire car at holiday time.”

    The math did not work out here in the US for me. The cost of car rental is just too high. (We probably average a holiday trip once per month). I am doubtful the math would work anywhere.

    So, one either goes with a PHEV (my choice at the time three years ago) or gets a full BEV with enough range for those holiday trips.

    Turns out I like my PHEV so much (Honda Clarity), that I will be buying it when my lease ends, whilst I wait for my Cybertruck to be built.


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