Renault to supply second life batteries to home energy storage market

Renault and Powervault have partnered to use repurposed electric vehicle batteries as home energy storage systems.
Published: Tue 04 Jul 2017

Powervault, a British home electricity storage company, will provide its customers with French vehicle manufacturer Renault’s repurposed electric vehicle (EV) batteries for home energy storage at approximately 30% less than the current price.

The home energy storage system, the size of a large kitchen appliance, will now cost consumers approximately £3,000 -down from £4,300.

Powervault claims that this agreement will help the company reach the tipping point of home energy storage ownership in the UK.

An initial production run of 50 units made from repurposed Renault electric vehicle batteries will be manufactured and delivered to schools in the London borough of Greenwich and some social housing residences, as well as M&S Energy customers who have homes fitted with solar panels.

Renault and Powervault will monitor the home energy storage batteries’ performance compared with other conventionally-sourced ones.

Nicolas Schottey, Programme Director, EV batteries and infrastructures at Renault, explains:

“Thanks to this home energy storage partnership with Powervault, Renault is adding a new element into its global strategy for second life batteries, which already covers a large number of usages from industrial to residential building and districts. 

"The second life use not only gives additional life to electric vehicle batteries before they are recycled, but also allows consumers to save money. It’s a win-win-win: for EV owners, home-owners and the planet.”

Recycling process doubles battery life cycle

Renault claims that the added usage on top of the batteries’ life inside an electric vehicle can more than double their entire life cycle. After eight to ten years of use in EVs, the batteries can be used for around another decade in a Powervault. 

Speaking of the recycling process, a Powervault spokesman said in a statement: "The batteries are taken back by Renault dealers and removed from cars. Then the car packs are taken apart and the 48 Li-ion battery ‘modules’ within it are tested and graded. Those over 70% of their original state of health are then repacked into smaller portable battery packs by Powervault.

"Each pack is 8 modules which gives 2.5kWh of battery capacity. One, two or three of those packs can then be fitted into a Powervault unit in a customer home. Any modules which are below 70% state of health may be found other ‘second life’ homes or recycled responsibly."

Second life batteries market

Renault can be added to the growing list of car manufacturers that are entering the home battery market. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and BMW have started leveraging their electric vehicle battery pack technology for residential energy storage since Tesla launched the Powerwall in 2015.

Unlike Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, Renault’s Powervault uses repurposed battery cells from its EVs. BMW, however, has a similar offering.

The new deal could prove to be quite lucrative for Renault since it owns most of the battery packs in its EVs.

Earlier this year, Renault announced that it has 100,000 electric vehicles with leased batteries on the road. The automaker offered Zoe owners a battery upgrade- a new 41 kWh pack.

If successful, Renault could end up with thousands of used battery packs, complete with decent energy capacity, which can now be used for home energy storage.

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