Back in June, Renault partnered with UK company Powervault to reuse batteries from electric vehicles in energy storage systems for the home. Now the automotive group has announced the installation of chargers at highway rest stops in Europe that also put second-life EV batteries to work, this time charging other EVs.
In what's being billed as a global first, the Renault Group has partnered with UK-based Connected Energy to install two quick-charge stations at rest areas on highways in Belgium and Germany. The stations both make use of the E-STOR energy storage system, where second-life batteries from Renault EVs are recharged at low power and the energy released to fast charge an electric car when it's plugged in.
"Groupe Renault is supporting the development of charging infrastructures to simplify the daily life of electric vehicle drivers," said the company's Nicolas Schottey. "Using our second-life batteries in fast EV charger contributes to progress by providing charging station operators with economical solutions. Moreover, it is a perfect example of circular economy implementation."
Renault says that EV batteries generally have a service life of between eight and 10 years, but even then they will still have enough capacity for use in stationary applications like the Powervault and the quick-charge stations before needing to be recycled. The E-STOR system also makes it possible to roll out quick-charge stations in locations where the high cost of connecting to a high power grid might prove prohibitive.
Connected Energy's E-STOR technology can be connected to PV installations or micro wind turbines on industrial and commercial sites, too, meaning businesses can store and use energy instead of exporting it to the grid. The company is currently in talks with other partners to roll out the technology across the UK and Europe in the coming months.