Right now one of the biggest challenges facing EV manufacturers is viable battery availability. Eventually the supply chain will get sorted out. But then we’ll have a problem at the other end of the life cycle. What are we going to do with all the 10 year-old batteries no longer up to the task of powering a car?
Used EV batteries no longer ideal for cars, can still help power the electric grid
Storage capacity from repurposed car batteries could ease strain on the system during peak hours
With a second life, EV batteries become useful commodities instead of hazardous waste
We face two real hurdles in the future. One is being able to keep pace with the extra energy demands electric cars will place on the grid. Two is, what do we do with old electric vehicle batteries we take off the road either from replacing as a repair for a car, or the entire vehicle being taken off the road.
Honda and Ohio-based utility company American Electric Power (AEP) want to give EV batteries a new life. As we make the shift towards electric vehicles becoming the norm, they could push the power grid to its limit, the highest stress times being when people plug in after work.
Used EV batteries could offer a solution. Acting as a storage system, they would provide more available energy and take the strain off the electric grid in peak hours. AEP will study how to integrate used batteries with those from the Honda Fit.
As used batteries are repurposed in this fashion, they gain value on the secondary market. When customers buy an EV, that includes paying for the battery. Since the batteries will become commodities, who will benefit from the sale? Certainly, brands will want to pocket the money. However, why should owners leave money on the table? They too should be compensated in some way. Maybe they will be. Honda already has the beta SmartCharge TM program, which pays Honda EV customers to charge their vehicles when more renewable energy resources are online.