Nissan Forms Partnership to give LEAF Batteries a Second Life
The programme, which will work with the Nissan-Sumitomo joint venture 4R Energy, will investigate and test how suitable the lithium ion battery units are as electricity backup systems.
Nissan said the LEAF’s battery retains 70% capacity after a ten-year lifespan powering a car, which could store energy from renewable sources and provide backup power to prevent electrical blackouts. The prototype unit planned is claimed to be able to supply 30 average American homes with electricity for an hour.
In addition to its environmental benefits, reusing the batteries gives the LEAF’s most expensive component a boost in residual values. A similar demonstration unit (pictured), built by 4R Energy, is already in use in Japan, while ABB has been working with General Motors to develop a system for use with the battery pack from the Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall/Opel Ampera.
Ken Srebnik, senior manager, NNA Corporate Planning, explained: ‘It's important to Nissan that we manage the complete lifecycle of the electric vehicle battery pack, even beyond its use in a Nissan car. Innovations in energy storage systems are becoming more viable as the electric grid gets smarter, and Nissan is proud to work with ABB, 4R Energy and Sumitomo to help bring these possibilities to market.’