Nissan is taking another approach, utilizing not just the technology, but the actual battery packs that go in their electric Nissan Leaf vehicles. The high cost of electric vehicles is from the most valuable component – the battery, and any value that can be recouped is worth the effort. The average electric vehicle battery has a relatively long life, retaining up to 70 percent capacity after ten years of use – much longer than most people keep their cars before looking for an upgrade.
Nissan has started thinking about what’s next for these batteries, partnering with ABB, a leader in power and technology, to create energy storage systems and back-up power sources from the lithium-ion packs reclaimed from their vehicles.
Their first goal is to develop a battery storage prototype that can store at least 50 kilowatt hours, enough to power 30 homes for one hour to determine the viability of re-using their Nissan Leaf batteries. By successfully extending the life of these valuable battery systems, Nissan will get more bang for their initial buck and contribute to a more sustainable energy system.
To effectively implement smart-grid technology and integrate more solar and wind energy into our grid, energy storage plays a central part in the complex system. It only makes sense that the companies already mastering mobile energy storage put their knowledge to use and make their technology as adaptable as possible to solve our energy needs whether in the car, office, or at home.