Renault Finds Second-Life For EV Batteries At Highway Charging Stations

2 months ago by Mark Kane 8

Renault ZOE Charging on highways with Second-Life Batteries (Connected Energy)

Renault and Connected Energy have further explored second-life EV batteries as an energy storage solution for highway fast charging stations.

2016 -Connected Energy Ltd E-Stor and Renault ZOE

The two find that ESS at fast charger locations is a very viable application, especially if the power supply is limited in the area.

Two new energy storage units made by Connected Energy use old Renault EV batteries, and were recently installed at fast charging stations on highways in Belgium and Germany.

“The E-STOR technology developed by Connected Energy uses second-life batteries from Renault electric vehicles. With the E-STOR system, the batteries are recharged at low power, and the stored energy is then released at high power. It thus becomes possible to offer electric vehicle charging services in locations where constructing a high power  connection to the power grid would be very costly. Economical and simple to install, E-STOR will contribute to the development of a network of quick-charging stations in Europe.”

The press release doesn’t tell the capacity of the E-STOR, but we believe it will be scalable to the needs of the station quite easily (goodness knows Renault has plenty of used 22 kWh battery packs coming back to them from lease, given the new 41 kWh upgrades now being installed). In early 2016 we note that Connected Energy had 50 kWh and 100 kWh versions available.

On average, EV batteries (that aren’t swapped out for larger ones) are expected to be used for 8-10 years in the vehicle (it could be more), and then – after capacity fades to some 70% – will be given a second likfe in stationary aplications.

About the partnership and E-STOR:

““We are developing a range of E-STOR systems, some, like the two installed in Belgium and Germany are designed specifically to enable lower cost more sustainable electric vehicle charging so it’s very great to see these in action,” commented Matthew Lumsden, Managing Director of Connected Energy. “We are now talking to several parties about projects in the UK and Europe and look forward to wide scale roll out in coming months.”

A circular economy solution

As a pioneer and leader in electric vehicles in Europe, Renault is doing its part to support the energy transition by re-using the batteries from its electric vehicles for stationary energy storage. The solutions offered by Renault with its partners have multiple applications, from individual homes and multiple-unit residences to industrial sites.

Electric vehicle batteries generally have a service life of eight to ten years. However, they still have substantial capacity for further use in stationary applications, thus extending their life before recycling. It is in particular to optimize this complete life cycle that Renault has set up the rental of the battery with its customers of electric vehicles.

“Groupe Renault is supporting the development of charging infrastructures to simplify the daily life of electric vehicle drivers. Using our second-life batteries in fast EV charger contributes to progress by providing charging station operators with economical solutions. Moreover, it is a perfect example of circular economy implementation,” says Nicolas Schottey, Head of Electric Vehicle Batteries and Charging Infrastructures Program.

Benefits beyond EV charging

Connected Energy’s E-STOR systems also offer a solution to load management for use on industrial and commercial sites. Systems can be controlled by a sophisticated energy optimisation platform to provide a reliable and proven complimentary power source at peak tariff times.

E-STOR works with a company’s onsite solar PV, or micro wind turbines, storing and releasing energy directly into site systems thereby avoiding the financial shortfalls of exporting to the Grid.  E-STOR can also provide new revenue streams by providing balancing services to the grid operator.”

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8 responses to "Renault Finds Second-Life For EV Batteries At Highway Charging Stations"

  1. speculawyer says:

    Yeah, people talk about “Oh what are you gonna do with the batteries when the cars are junked?”

    I just don’t see that as a problem for a while. Hobbyists buy used EV batteries to build conversions. And they use them to build residential battery packs. Anytime an EV is totalled but the battery is OK, those batteries are bought right up.

    And there will be projects like the above. Reduced capacity batteries will easily be bought up by people wanting them for other things.

    If I were a solar PV inverter maker, I would build a residential battery controller that is programmable such that it can support any of the existing EV batteries. Thus people could create battery-backed PV systems easily by buying up used EV batteries.

    1. john Doe says:

      In some countries people lease the batteries, and Renault own the batteries.

    2. Mike I. says:

      Pika Energy has an ideal system topology to support second use EV battery packs. However, they are a small company and nobody can build a company to grow revenue to a meaningful size based on the uncertain supply of second use EV packs.

      The reason that they have an ideal system is that you can integrate multiple packs on the same DC bus and each pack has its own DC/DC converter that controls the flow of energy in/out of the pack. That means that you can have different voltage packs, different capacity packs, and even take a pack out of service and the rest of the system will keep running. I talked to a rep at the Intersolar show in July and he said that they don’t share the technical information that would be necessary for another system integrator to build an interface to an intact EV pack, even though such a thing is technically feasible and they don’t want to pursue that approach internally.

      1. speculawyer says:

        “nobody can build a company to grow revenue to a meaningful size based on the uncertain supply of second use EV packs.”

        Oh, I agree…the main market would be for units sold with new battery packs. But that is even more reason to build a flexible system that can handle multiple different battery pack voltages, amps, chemistries, etc. It would be able to handle all sorts of different new packs from Tesla, Mercedes, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc.

  2. Big Show says:

    Wow! Eestor has finally developed a commercial application for its supercapacitors? I knew they had a future!

    /sarc

    http://insideevs.com/eestor-hits-snag-as-independent-ultracapacitor-tests-dont-go-well/

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I didn’t realize that InsideEVs had ever reported on EEStor.

      Thanks for linking to that blast from the past! 🙂

      1. Djoni says:

        This is E-STOR, not EEStor.

  3. ffbj says:

    Recent events disrupting gasoline production &
    pipelines could be strong argument to having a back-up ev.
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/southern-gasoline-pipeline-shut-down-due-harvey-113944573.html

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