Renault gives second life to electric vehicle batteries

Renault and Powervault today announce a partnership to re-use electric vehicle batteries in home energy storage units. This partnership will reduce the cost of a Powervault smart battery unit by 30%, helping Powervault to bring home energy storage to a larger market where the business aims to sell 30,000 units by 2020.  This endeavour will require 15,000 battery packs.

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.

Renault Kangoo ZE Battery
Renault Kangoo and ZOE battery packs sits low in the vehicle
A Powervault enables homeowners 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 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.

Powervault in home installation
Powervault in home installation

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

“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.”

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.designjunction is part of London Design Week where around 27,000 design professionals and consumers attend the critically acclaimed curated show of the world’s leading contemporary design brands to discover new trends, meet new brands and buy new products.

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.