What are we going to do with all of the old EV batteries?

by Ernie Hernandez on September 16, 2010

LEAF Battery Pack

Nissan has a plan for their old used LEAF batteries

One of the issues that we have always had with hybrid vehicles was exactly this: what happens with all of the old batteries? Can they be recycled? Can they be reused? Or do they end up in some gigantic electro-chemical landfill somewhere? While we must say that we have yet to research that issue thoroughly, we have looked into the plan for the LEAF battery pack. And this is what we found.

Nissan has just announced yet another joint venture, this with Sumitomo Corporation. The venture will be called “4R Energy” as in Reuse, Refabricate, Resell, Recycle. The idea is that a used LEAF battery may have a significant capability available after serving a useful life in a LEAF. Modules will be removed and redesigned to created new packages of varying voltages or capacity needs. These refabricated modules can then be resold as energy storage or backup batteries. Those modules or cells that cannot meet these needs can be recycled to retrieve resources. Had Toyota undertaken such a venture when the Prius was launched, we might not have found ourselved wondering what was going to happen to all of those used Prius batteries. At least with the LEAF, we know that Nissan is already working on a solution.

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