Can Recycling/Leasing Car Batteries Finally Be Game-Changing For EVs? - Page 3
Then there is the issue of recycling. Is it recyclable or not? The answer is yes. While Tesla is moving forward in this area, Nissan has been a frontrunner in this category. Although recycling of lithium still needs to be advanced, Nissan is presently using second hand lithium batteries in wind/solar energy storage and photovoltaic solar for industrial and home applications. India’s electric car OEM Reva and Zem Energy have also been working on potential reusability of second hand lithium batteries. So while every detail related to recycling EV batteries still need to be worked out, we are at least encouraged by efforts presently being made in the space.
Nissan representatives have told us that 5 years use of its battery would still yield 70% to 80% efficiency. I believe that number will actually be closer to 70%, especially if vehicle-to-grid technology (reversing the electric power from a charged car battery back to the power grid) becomes more prevalent as we expect during that time-frame. However, I’m very intrigued by the leasing and second life applicability of used electric batteries. I’m watching Renault’s battery renting experiment very intently since I know Carlos Ghosn is eagerly evaluating it too. That means if Renault can prove the business model works and residual car values are better for EVs without the battery than with it, Mr. Ghosn and friends may be introducing the leased battery concept to the U.S. soon enough. Now that could make one million EVs on the road in the U.S. by 2015 more attainable.