Chinese battery OEM and electric vehicle maker BYD will transform old batteries into energy storage systems through a partnership with Chinese lithium-ion recycling start-up Pandpower and Japanese trading house Itochu.
Old battery packs from buses, taxis and other vehicles manufactured by BYD will be collected from dealerships across China and turned into ship-container-sized power units for renewable energy and factories.
The first units are expected to go on sale as early as 2021 in Australia and Southeast Asia, before expanding to Western markets and Japan at a later date.
BYD will send the spent EV packs to Shenzhen firm Pandpower, which will conduct performance tests on them to determine their suitability for second-life applications.
Those packs that pass the screening phase for use in large power storage units will be bought by Itochu, which forecasts 10 billion yen ($97 million) in sales over five years.
Itochu has developed a 1MW system using around 160 interconnected BYD batteries into a 20-foot container at under 150,000 yen ($23,000) per kilowatt-hour
Itochu aims to start using the units as backup power sources for Japanese factories for test pilot projects in April to determine their performance capabilities, including the speed of battery degradation.
The volume of used batteries in China will reach 42GWh by 2025, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
China’s volume of used batteries is expected to be seven times more than Europe by 2025, and 42 times higher than Japan.
Pandpower, which was founded by former BYD engineers in 2016, signed a long-term procurement contract with the automaker. Itochu became a shareholder in the firm in 2019.