Renault Installs Charging Stations Powered by Used EV Batteries
【Summary】French automaker, Renault, has deployed EV fast-charging stations that are powered by used electric vehicle batteries.
Used electric vehicle batteries present an environmental hazard. As such, companies are always trying to find new ways to recycle EV batteries. French automaker, Renault, has decided to use "second-life" batteries to power EV charging stations.
EV charging stations the Renault way
Renault teamed up with Connected Energy to build two EV fast-charging stations, located in Germany and Belgium. Second-life lithium-ion EV batteries collected from Renault vehicles, power the stations.
According to the website electrek, Renault plans to install the stations "where constructing a high-power connection to the power grid would be very costly."
The charging stations use what Renault calls "E-STOR" technology. E-STOR is designed to charge the station's internal batteries at lower power. When an EV pulls up to a charger, it's gets juiced at high power. This helps hurried motorists get a fast charge. Even when the batteries are no longer fit for vehicle use, they have enough capacity for energy storage.
Best of all, the station's internal batteries are charged by solar and wind energy, according to powerelectronics.com. No assistance from the electrical grid is needed. This approach provides increased utility and economy.
Other options for used EV batteries
What do with used EV batteries is a heavily debated subject. One option is to repurpose old batteries in new applications. For example, Nissan and BMW have begun using depleted batteries in home storage applications. Of course, the downside is that secondhand batteries provide reduced performance compared to new.
Another option is to recycle the batteries for their raw materials. Under this theory, approaches such as smelting can be used to break down a depleted EV battery.
More EV batteries to recycle
Soon, there will be a greater number of worn-out EV batteries in circulation. EV batteries have a life of about eight to ten years, and many in cars today are near the end of operation.
Renault believes second-life powered charging stations are the answer. Renault's enthusiasm for the idea may be linked to the fact the automaker currently has 100,000 leased electric vehicles in circulation. Customers now have the option of swapping out their old battery pack for an updated version released last year. In other words, Renault may have a lot of surplus battery packs very soon.
In the near future, Renault hopes to deploy their charging stations across Europe. So, if you're traveling across British countryside and your EV needs a juice, you may be charging at a Renault station.
Mia is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician, L1, L2 and L3 Advanced Level Specialist. She has over 12 years of experience in the automotive industry and a bachelor’s degree in automotive technology. These skills have been applied toward content writing, technical writing, inspections, consulting, automotive software engineering.
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