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Second life for EV batteries

Fri, 11/16/2012 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

ABB, along with General Motors and Duke Energy, is testing whether used electric-vehicle batteries can have a second life on the electric grid.

When lithium-ion batteries are removed from electric vehicles as no longer useful they can still have more than 70% of useful life so GM and ABB have been examining ways to harness this for two years.

At a demonstration in San Francisco on November 14th, five used Chevrolet Volt battery packs were repackaged into a unit that could power three to five average homes for two hours.

This type of back-up power from battery systems could help level out discrepancies in output from photovoltaic systems or other renewable energy systems or supply emergency power during power cuts.

Duke Energy is to install a five-battery system on its grid somewhere in the US with a rooftop solar panel system and connect it to the electric grid.

This will reduce the cost of EV ownership by making the used batteries valuable for second life purposes.