Renault To Enter Home Battery Market With Repurposed EV Batteries

3 days ago by Mark Kane 14

Renault and Powervault present a home stationary energy battery storage system based on second life electric vehicle batteries

Not unlike its Alliance partner – Nissan (with its xStorage solution), Renault and Powervault have now announced a partnership to offer home energy storage systems – consisting of used electric vehicle batteries;  of which Renault should have more than a few of, considering the current returns of thousands of expired 22 kWh battery leases from its popular ZOE offering  (with many switching to new 41 kWh packs going forward).

Renault and Powervault present a home stationary energy battery storage system based on second life electric vehicle batteries

According to Renault, it’s expected that the batteries will last 8-10 years in its EVs, and then a further 10 years of “second-life” in an energy storage solution (ESS)…take note of that future research analysts compiling “lifetime emission surveys” on EV and battery technologies.

Powervault currently demonstrates 2, 4 and 6 kWh lithium battery units (of unknown further specs) on its website.

“The batteries used in electric vehicles usually have a lifetime of 8 to 10 years. However, there is still plenty of useful life in these batteries for stationary applications; giving the batteries an additional life before they are recycled. 

Within a Powervault home battery system, Renault batteries are estimated to have up to 10 years of additional useful life. Second life battery packs are removed from the electric vehicles, unpacked and graded before Powervault make them into smaller battery packs for their application.”

For Powervault, using EV batteries should reduce the cost of the battery unit (also still unknown) by 30%.

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 battery

At first, Renault and Powervault and M&S Energy utility will launch a trial project in UK with 50 installations in homes with solar panels.

“Powervault is placing 50 trial units, powered by second life batteries provided by Renault, in the homes of customers who already have solar panels installed. The trial will explore the technical performance of second life batteries as well as customer reaction to home energy storage to help develop a roll-out strategy for the mass-market. The trial will be run with eligible customers of M&S Energy, plus social housing tenants and schools in the South East.

Powervault is an innovative home battery system, which enables homeowners to live smarter by increasing their ability to store and use the solar energy freely-generated from their own solar panels. Powervault units can also automatically charge using low cost, off-peak energy from the grid. The Powervault system sits at the heart of the smart home and the optimisation of energy usage within it. As well as reducing the cost of production of a Powervault, the use of second life batteries will also optimize the life-cycle of the Renault batteries before they are recycled.”

“The Powervault second life trial will start in July 2017 and last 12 months. The 50 units in the trial will be divided between the homes of M&S Energy customers, plus Hyde residents, as well as social housing tenants and schools in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, via Solarcentury. M&S Energy will be contacting eligible customers to discuss their interest in participating in the trial.”

By 2020 hopes to sell 30,000 energy storage systems, which would require around 15,000 used EV battery packs.

Renault and Powervault present a home stationary energy battery storage system based on second life electric vehicle batteries

Joe Warren, Managing Director of Powervault, says:

“The collaboration we are announcing today with these two household name brands – Renault and M&S – is an important milestone on our journey towards achieving mainstream adoption of home energy storage. Homeowners and brands are now looking to benefit from the smart power revolution. It’s only a matter of time before a Powervault becomes as common in [UK] households as a dishwasher.”

Nicolas Schottey, Program Director, EV batteries and infrastructures at Renault, explains:

“Thanks to this home energy storage partnership with Powervault, Renault is adding a new element into its global strategy for second life batteries, which already covers a large number of usages from industrial to residential building and districts. The second life use not only gives additional life to electric vehicle batteries before they are recycled, but also allow consumers to save money. It’s a win-win-win: for EV owners, home-owners and the planet.”

 

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14 responses to "Renault To Enter Home Battery Market With Repurposed EV Batteries"

  1. Mikey says:

    Arg, only 2, 4, and 6kWh options? Using the full 22kWh would be a good start, though I would be fine if they detracted it to 80% or less to increase longevity.

  2. CDAVIS says:

    The 2nd life battery concept will loose out to the better approach a full recycle that brings the battery back up to its original capacity or better.

    The improvements of battery chemstery & packing is improving at a rate that used 7yo+ batteries will be as commercially obsolete as a 7yo+ computer.

    1. alohart says:

      The cost of recycling and then building a new battery cell from the recycled materials is way higher than just testing and matching used cells to use in a pack. The demands on a pack for home use are so much less than in an EV that used EV cells should work well repurposed.

      1. CDAVIS says:

        Likewise…

        The cost of recycling and then building a new computer from the recycled materials is way higher than just testing and matching used computer parts…yet that is not what happens because the relative obsolescence of those parts exceeds the cost savings benefits…it gets down to the bang-for-buck ratio.

        1. Mikey says:

          Two very big differences:
          1. New computers will be five times as fast in five years. New batteries will have maybe 50% more capacity.
          2. New software in computers (particularly the OS) require much more powerful computers to maintain adequate performance, meaning that five year old computers are basically unusable in most cases. However, electrical demands are actually slowly falling, meaning that a five year old battery is still very useable.

          A better comparison may be used clothes. You can recycle the fabric into new clothes, but it’s much more efficient to just re-use them at Goodwill. Used clothes aren’t as stylish, but plenty of people are happy to use them because of the lower price.

          1. CDAVIS says:

            Time will tell about 2nd life for used car batteries… I think it will be more like obsolete used computers than your analogy of 2nd-hand clothes.

          2. Peter says:

            Great comparing !
            People tend to mix everything up.
            Roumers and trolls make it difficult for beginners to evaluate what is true and what is false.

    2. Jason says:

      2nd life batteries will probably come down to failure rates as well. Who really knows whether the battery will last 20yrs at a diminished power level, or if it will just suddenly give up at some point? I know these are quite different to domestic batteries, but it is not unusual for a domestic battery to be working ok one day and just stop the next.

      If I can buy a rack to put my old EV batteries into, and that was reasonably cheap, then I can easily imagine doing this when the batteries are no longer suitable for the EV, but it will need to be setup such that a single battery failure doesn’t stop the whole unit.

      I already paid for the EV batteries once, so I don’t want to have to pay for then again to put in a rack.

      Also, with every manufacturer doing their own battery design and chemistries it will have to be vendor specific I think, which no doubt will increase the costs.

      1. Peter says:

        The owner of a old battery pack should keep it and only let a electrician connect it to a inverter. Plenty of good stuff out there already.

        There are company’s that open and changes poor cells I car batteries. No big deal.

  3. Don says:

    There would be a small market if these repurposed EV batteries are really very cheap enough but seems like they cannot compete against PowerWall 2.0 on many fronts !

  4. Shawn Marshall says:

    If a home uses 30kW-hr per day and one can purchase inexpensive used auto batteries for about 3 days capacity then the solar cell installation for residential customers could get really attractive. Houses may eventually be wired with D.C. again making Thomas Edison smile from the grave. It would eliminate a lot of losses from inverters. It is all about the batteries.

    1. leen says:

      Hi Shawn,

      we lived off-grid, including 2 EVs for 35 days now. We have a static battery set up of around 23 kWh and 6 kW invertors for each phase. DC/DC between solar panels and batteries.
      So, yes indeed feasible. No fancy Li Ion batteries, simple plain old lead acids…

    2. Peter says:

      Agree should not be impossible to make a home completely DC.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        All the rural farms from 100 years ago that had battery-powered 32 volt dc lighting systems prove that DC electrification is possible.

        They also usually had petrol powered Maytag wringer washing machines – not sure I’d really like to go back to those, however.

        Speaking of the U.K. , I notice all the pictures show these batteries installed in the kitchen. The home in the set of the BBC program “Keeping Up Appearances” didn’t have a cellar either, as the revenue meter was in a cupboard in the hallway. Is this typical there?

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