One of the reasons why not everyone is driving electric cars right now is range. You can fill up your car in seconds, but electric cars tend to requires hours’ worth of charge to drive a decent distance. Solution, of course, is quick charging stations, but those require high-power lines, which are not available by every highway. Now Renault with partners introduced an intriguing solution, which is already put to work.
Batteries from old electric Renault vehicles are repurposed to work at quick charging stations. Such facilities are already installed in on highways in Belgium and Germany. Idea is that these batteries can be charged slowly from conventional power lines, but can discharged very rapidly when an electric vehicle comes to charge. In some areas it is simply not economical to install high-power electric lines, especially if electric cars are not that popular. So this solution, brought by Connected Energy and called E-STOR, actually kills two birds with one stone.
Batteries of electric cars get old and cannot be used anymore. Some vehicles are involved in crashes that total them and batteries, while they could still be good, are scrapped. E-STOR repurposes these elements and at the same time brings quick charging capability to highways where it wasn’t previously possible. Renault with partners are already talking with local governments in other countries to introduce this solution to more highways. However, this is not the only area where old Renault batteries can be used.
Renault is the leading electric car manufacturer in Europe. This can be largely attributed to its Alliance with Nissan, which is known as the manufacturer of the best-selling electric car in the world. And so, as cars get older or simply don’t work anymore, batteries go to waste. Renault is trying to repurpose them – even if they are not fit to power a vehicle, they can still be used elsewhere. For example, for energy storage in houses and neighbourhoods, renewable energy devices and some other applications. This also helps reducing the cost of them, because batteries are already made (and used). Lithium is extremely costly, which makes new batteries very expensive.
With more electric cars on the road we will have to start thinking how to recycle them. Their lifetime is relatively short, which means that soon we will have piles of cars that are hard to process. Hopefully by that time we will have efficient, ecological and cost-effective solutions like this.
Source: Groupe Renault
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