The rapid adoption of EVs over the coming decades will cause the accessibility of terawatt-hours of batteries which no longer match the requirements for use in an EV. To put this into perspective, countries like the U.S. consume several such terawatts of energy storage systems over the course of an entire year. Therefore, this is a significant amount of available energy storage.

Finding uses for these still functional batteries can add value significantly and ultimately help drive down storage costs to enable more integration of renewable energy into our grids.

Battery life for EVs is challenging. Lithium-ion batteries in EV usage deteriorate significantly within the first five years of operation and are often designed for a decade of usable life despite being exposed to severe operating temperatures, dozens of partial cycles annually, and fluctuating discharge rates.

Even if they no longer fulfil the performance requirements for EVs, which generally call for retaining 80% of total useable capacity and attaining a resting self-discharge rate of just 5% over a 24-hour period, these batteries can nevertheless have a second life.

Up until it reaches about 40% capacity, a lithium-ion battery that has 70% useable capacity after being used in an electric car can be used for stationary energy storage. The battery should be discarded if it is below 40% charged.

When this occurs, EV batteries are reused in order to get usable materials, and these materials are used to produce new EV batteries. Such batteries can still function well enough to support fewer demanding applications, including stationary energy storage, after being remanufactured.

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In comparison to the lifespan of the actual car, the batteries used for electric vehicles must be changed every four and five years. Additionally, the older battery still has between 60 and 80 per cent of its initial capacity after replacement, making it usable for a number of additional uses. In the upcoming years, this presents a significant growth opportunity for second-life batteries.