Bloomberg New Energy Finance released an interesting forecast that 95 GWh worth of used EV batteries will be extracted from electric cars by 2025.

Because the current price of used EV batteries (with still some 70-80% of capacity) is half that of new ones, a lot of those used packs will get second-life in energy storage systems.

Battery storage system electrified by BMW i announced at EVS29 in Montreal

Battery storage system electrified by BMW i announced at EVS29 in Montreal

However, ESS (energy storage systems) are pegged to only take up about 26 GWh, or 27% of the total used EV batteries by 2025.

According to BNEF, because the pricing of new batteries will drop significantly, profit from the use of old ones also will also decrease. Combined with longer-life/warranty for new batteries, older batteries will slowly lose their large advantage of today.  A conclusion we are not so sure about.

But if BNEF is right, the window for using old EV batteries is only temporary - "The window for developing a vibrant secondary market for these batteries may close as prices comes down, sometime in the next three to five years".

Claire Curry, a New Energy Finance analyst in New York, said:

“There’s a sweet spot now where new batteries are still expensive for stationary use,”

“The cross-over will happen when the costs drop to $200 a kilowatt-hour,” she said.

While we feel that Bloomberg presents a good case for greater use of new cells in energy storage solutions, there is still no beating "free" and the excessive capacity often found when buying a used pack is always a nice say nothing of the fact that a used EV battery will always be sold at whatever price that the market will bear - something new cells can never compete with.

So, we feel that when those fancy new 100 kWh Tesla batteries, or 60 kWh Chevy Bolt EV batteries are being turned in 10+ years from now, they certainly will still offer a huge advantage from buying a new/smaller battery for ~triple the price.

source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

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