3 Post-Vehicle Applications For Automotive Lithium-Ion Batteries


BMW i3 Battery

BMW i3 Battery

Nissan e-NV200 Battery

Nissan e-NV200 Battery

A peer-reviewed Mineta National Transit Research Consortium report, titled Remanufacturing, Repurposing, and Recycling of Post-Vehicle-Application Lithium-Ion Batteries, suggests that there are three reasonable second-life uses for automotive lithium-ion batteries:

  • Remanufacturing for reuse in vehicles by replacing any damaged cells
  • Repurposing by reengineering battery for stationary storage application.
  • Recycling by disassembling each battery cell and extracting the metals, chemicals and other byproducts to be sold or re-introduced into battery manufacturing process

Post-vehicle applications for lithium-ion batteries will become increasingly important in the coming years as the first modern-day electric vehicles reach an age in which depletion of battery capacity makes them unsuitable for automotive use.

Charles R. Standridge, PhD, lead researcher of the study, stated:

“Lithium-ion batteries provide efficient energy storage. Their use in vehicles will continue to expand, but we must deal with disposition once they fall below regulatory standards for use in on-road vehicles. To address that challenge, our studies have shown that many of these batteries may still hold a significant charge level and thus have additional economic value that can be reclaimed in one of three ways.”

The study predicts that, by 2035, the number of available post-vehicle-application batteries will range from 1.376 million to 6.759 million.  That’s a heck of a lot of batteries that will be looking for second-life applications.

Full Report in PDF Form here

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7 Comments on "3 Post-Vehicle Applications For Automotive Lithium-Ion Batteries"

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“The study predicts that, by 2035, the number of available post-vehicle-application batteries will range from 1.376 million to 6.759 million. That’s a heck of a lot of batteries that will be looking for second-life applications.”

They further listed 3.773 million as the middle forecast. There is a lot to extrapolate from that prediction. First of all, to have 4 million available by 2035, there had to be at least that many or double on the road by 2025 considering a lot of PHEVs will still use them at a degraded efficiency the way the six million HEVs do today.

Just as there are a number of independent mechanics for ICEs, so will there be independents that will give you a heck of a deal on replacing cells. This is already happening with HEVs. A person who installs their own solar array will definitely consider this path.

This all translates into a very positive future for battery storage. IMO, we are about a decade away from a real battery storage explosion that will change the way we function on both a corporate and individual level.

Mark, I find many ‘reputable’ studies are not able to grasp just what is happening with the surging Global Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry.

It has been just a little over 32 months since the Evs 1st Wave Chevy Volt EREV, Nissan leaf BEV and Mitsubishi i MiEV left limited markets beta sales, US, and national sales began.
Tesla Model S followed a year later after a limited Global Roadster prouction run.

Stunning! Now 18 OEM Plug-In and Wireless Refueling/Charging EFV’s now available, US, many more on the way!

Link Goes To Plug In Cars Dot Com/Cars-


The #ElectricFueledVehicle US Sales Ticker now pushing 250,000 sold by the end of September, 2014.

Outword estimates by some at 500,000 by July, 2015 pushing 1,000,000 by December, 2015, US!

Navigant Research is rounding out this way.

“[…] According to a recent report from Navigant Research, a total of 21.9 million EVs will be sold worldwide during the period from 2012 to 2020.[…]”

Link Goes To Wall Street Journal-


With usable Traction Battery life predicted by many at 20 years, we shall have to wait a bit for this end of automotive use storage application.


Thomas J. Thias



It is definitely exciting times! I found the data in this report interesting and like how they charted pessimistic, middle, and optimistic adoption. The pessimistic seemed unlikely in both units sold and the rate the batteries became available. This study was heavily influenced by the Chevy Volt. It based the available units at 50%-65%. Like you, I believe at least the PHEV and EREVs are going to keep their batteries a lot longer than one might imagine. In fact, they very well may keep them for the life of the vehicle. The study did speak in terms of 2035 and optimistic data did reflect a long lead period before units started entering the field. 2035 is after all 20+ years down the road. How many independent mechanics exist today? Not meaning to imply the number of un

edit button:
Not implying that the number of units will not be there, but rather like you state, they may last longer. Also not to underestimate independent mechanics replacing cells.

I think there will become a huge market for old used li-ion EV batteries for solar PV people that want to add storage to their PV systems. That application doesn’t need energy density and they’ll love to have cheap low maintenance batteries.


OK, I understand that once the battery pack in EV’s will have a usable life after they’re no longer able to provide the range needed in a car.

What I struggle with…is what manufacturer that is “Repurposing by reengineering battery for stationary storage application.” is going to develop a platform for a dozen different battery packs from a handful of automakers.

My guess is they’ll focus a product on one particular pack and buy them exclusively.