By 2020, French automaker Renault wants to use a bank of old electric vehicle batteries to make a 60MWh battery storage system for use on the electricity grid.
The car company says the battery farm will provide a ‘second life’ for 2,000 lithium-ion batteries from the automaker’s Renault ZOE, Kangoo Z.E. and Twizy electric vehicles at three sites in France and Germany, starting from 2019.
Nicolas Schottey, director of the Groupe Renault New Business Energy program says the project will help in balancing the grid, which would also reduce costs of electricity in times of peak demand, and to help incorporate more wind and solar.
“Our stationary storage solution aims to offset these differences: it delivers its reserves to a point of imbalance in the grid at a given time to reduce the effects,” he said.
The ‘megabattery’ would consist of containers used to store the used batteries, but could also store new batteries until they are deployed as replacements as part of Renault’s after-sales service.
Partners of the project include the Japanese group Mitsui and Switzerland’s The Mobility House, which also collaborated with Renault on the development of a similar project on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, where a car-sharing initiative also acts as a grid-balancing network.
Renault also recently launched a similar system on the French island of Belle-Île-en-Mer, just off the coast of southern Brittany.
The French carmaker is not alone in developing used car battery networks.
In 2016 BMW offered a second life to 100 i3’s city batteries as part of a stationary storage project in Hamburg, Germany, in cooperation with R. Bosch and Vattenfall.
More recently, Nissan was commissioning a system consisting of 148 used batteries – from the popular all-electric LEAF – developing a total capacity of 3MW at the Amsterdam Arena powered by 4,000 photovoltaic panels installed on the stadium roof.
Hyundai have also recently inked an agreement with Finnish-based energy-solution provider, Wärtsilä to use second life car batteries to create energy storage systems.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.