Comment: Second-life vehicle batteries should be first choice for energy storage

lithium ion batteries - EV

To mark Energy Day at COP27, Matthew Lumsden of Connected Energy called on consumers and businesses to understand that switching to electric vehicles is just the first step in the clean energy transition.

“To drive energy change faster, we need to look further ahead, to the reuse of electric vehicle batteries at the end of their lives in a vehicle and ensure that we maximise the finite resources within them.

“Battery storage holds the key to cleaner energy world, by storing power from renewables, but at present there is little recognition of the role that the reuse of batteries has to play. We need to focus on the second life use of batteries in energy storage to deliver the energy security, carbon savings and resource stewardship we need.

“It is well known that when driving you need to look further ahead to stay safe. Not only are we not looking far enough ahead, we’ve got a blind spot concerning battery reuse,” Matthew comments.

“Second life should come first, when it comes to energy storage. It is the reuse of existing EV batteries that makes best use of technology and resources, and will enable us to deliver the greatest carbon savings and transformation to our energy systems.

“Industry projections suggest that by 2030, around one million tonnes of EV batteries could be available for reuse. This second life application is the one we need to celebrate at COP27 and share best practice about today.

“Technology allows us to combine battery behaviour with financial modelling so that second life energy storage systems can be bought through regular monthly payments, with a service contact that includes swapping out the batteries as needed. A second life energy system can deliver the same duty cycles and energy services as a system using new batteries, but dramatically extends the life of vehicle batteries.

“This ‘battery storage as a service model’ is the exactly the combination of financial and technological innovation that Energy Day at COP27 called for, and the case should be made more clearly that good solutions are available now.

“Connected Energy has the most commercial second life battery energy storage systems installed in Europe. Our systems are compliant with grid requirements across Europe, peak shaving frequency response and micro grid applications.

“They will help drive clean energy and add greater value to the switch to electric vehicles. There are good solutions on the road ahead, now is a right time to recognise and celebrate them.”