Second lives for electric vehicle batteries
Hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to increase 30-fold by 2030 compared with 2019. As a result, there will be a significant increase in the number of retired EV batteries. Consequently, handling retired batteries responsibly and sustainably will become a major challenge for all relevant industries.
In this project, we will conduct desktop research on the current and emerging practices for the next life of EV batteries. The insight from the research will provide guidance on maximising the economic return from total loss EVs at salvage yards and ensure that the sustainability of damaged EVs is maximised.
Responsible and sustainable use of EV batteries can significantly contribute to the circular economy.
With the growth of EV sales, a massive wave of dead electric car batteries will soon exacerbate recycling problems. By 2028, researchers predict that the world will have more than a million metric tons of them to deal with.
Preventing the battery from becoming waste is ideally the first step towards EV battery waste management. Consequently, handling retired batteries responsibly and sustainably becomes a major challenge for all relevant industries.
In general, EV batteries are retired from their automotive life when they reach around 80% of their initial capacity; however, they can still be used for other applications, requiring less power and energy content, in a second life.
Finding a second-life application for the used battery is the second step in EV battery waste management cycle. Two important considerations, before using these retired EV batteries, are:
- Whether the retired batteries are suitable for other applications from power and energy content perspectives’ and
- How long these retired batteries continue to serve other applications profitably.
When these hybrid and electric vehicle (HEV) batteries are no longer suitable for continued use (either through damage or decrease in output (wear), it is important to ensure sustainable options for the ongoing use or disposal of these batteries as the vehicles are repaired.
The scope of the project includes literature review on second-life battery projects around the globe, mapping current state-of-the-art practices regarding HEV batteries. The project is expected to provide an insight on business models of EV battery next life opportunities, based on existing local and international experience so far and answer questions like:
- What are the next life possibilities for EV batteries and how could the supply chain work to achieve those possibilities?
- What drives the cost of second life of batteries?
- What are the main technical challenges imposed on the reuse of batteries?
- What are the leading technologies for their reuse?
Techno-economic analysis as part of any business model is a valuable tool for connecting research and development, engineering, and business. By linking the process to financial metrics, business can better understand the factors affecting profitability and make better informed decisions.
If how to adopt a second life for EV batteries isn’t investigated, they would more than likely be stockpiled or become landfill. Research into the next life options of HEV batteries and the end-of-life options for the sustainable decommissioning and recycling of materials in the batteries is highly demanded for sustained circular economy and all respective stakeholders.
The project objective is to provide guidance on how the economic return from total loss electric vehicles at salvage yards can be maximised, and also ensure that the sustainability of damaged electric vehicles is maximised. We believe the opportunities to achieve the objective are through researching the next life of EV batteries and understanding the processes to achieve the opportunities.
The aim of the project is to conduct desktop research on second-life battery projects in the areas of repair, repurposing, and recycling of HEV batteries. The project is expected to provide an insight into HEV second-life batteries and answer some important questions regarding repair, next life possibilities and supply chain work, and techno-economic assessment review of the second life of HEV batteries.
Please note …
This page will be a living record of this project. As it matures, hits milestones, etc., we’ll continue to add information, links, images, interviews and more. Watch this space!