Environment

Nissan to incorporate used Leaf batteries in stationary energy storage system

Nissan to incorporate used Lea...
A Nissan Leaf battery pack, as will be used in the new energy storage units
A Nissan Leaf battery pack, as will be used in the new energy storage units
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A Nissan Leaf battery pack, as will be used in the new energy storage units
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A Nissan Leaf battery pack, as will be used in the new energy storage units

Following in the footsteps of Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, Nissan is now set to become the latest automaker to offer battery packs for stationary energy storage. Although pricing information has yet to be provided, the Nissan product should be relatively affordable, as it will incorporate used batteries from Nissan Leaf electric cars.

Nissan designed the battery packs as part of the 4R Energy joint venture with Sumitomo Corp., and has partnered with commercial energy storage company Green Charge Networks to manufacture them. While Nissan is the source of the actual "second life" lithium-ion batteries that no longer meet the demands of automotive use, Green Charge is providing the power management software.

Plans call for the energy storage units to first be used at a Nissan facility in California later this summer, to help offset peak energy demand. Once they become available for purchase in the fourth quarter of this year, it is hoped that consumers will also use the batteries with renewable sources such as wind and solar.

According to Nissan, this is the first time that used EV batteries have been commercially utilized for such an application. "A lithium-ion battery from a Nissan Leaf still holds a great deal of value as energy storage, even after it is removed from the vehicle, so Nissan expects to be able to reuse a majority of Leaf battery packs in non-automotive applications," says Brad Smith, director of Nissan's 4R Energy business in the US.

Along with pricing, there is currently also no word on capacity of the battery packs.

Sources: Nissan, Green Charge Networks

10 comments
christopher
A nice, albeit subtle reminder, that expensive rechargeable batteries do not last so long; something pretty much universally ignored by, well, almost everyone, always. Reality has no place in green-fuzzy articles:-)
Sven Ollino
Some EV city busses come with a 15yr warranty - it all depends on the chemistry.
Michael Ryan
So if my understanding is correct, the batteries for storing power for my home in the country off grid will be used. This is a nice idea but do I really want to rely on refurbished batteries? My concern is that if these batteries are not good enough to use in cars how will they be good enough for home use? I get the feeling that these guys are trying to put lipstick on a pig.
Maybe I'm being picky but I live in an area where in winter a prolonged power outage can result in property damage (frozen pipes) and an uninhabitable home. I just don't like relying on refurbished anything having been burned in the past.
StWils
Chris, Lose the Attitude. Gasoline & Diesel also get used up , vapour away, cause fires, stink, leak, and in general have some unpleasant environmental effects. Lithium batteries that may no longer meet vehicle use standards still have a useful life in a stationary role until they will eventually be completely recycled to recover & reuse all the constituents. Just as aluminum cans have great value in the "embodied energy" required to produce the aluminum in the first place so also does lithium have great value because it is in fact scarce. As things improve here newer battery types using less scarce materials are evolving to a point where several are very likely to have a role in the world in appropriate applications. No need to be one size fits all. All new technology takes time to integrate into an economy. This includes the "green" stuff that makes better use of materials energy and our One Planet environment.
Bob Flint
Several things at work here;
1. They want to build Giga battery production, hence a second market. 2. The average real life span of current lithpoly batteries 3-5 years. 3. Looking for ways to justify, items 1, & 2.
No matter what "They say" or claim to guarantee 10 years on a pack @ daily recharge will max out the recharge cycles in three to 4 years.
Anybody ever run a laptop for more than 3-4 years??
Paul Scott
Michael Ryan, the LiIon batteries do lose some capacity as they age, but the majority of loss seems to happen in the first five years or so, then degradation slows. I am pretty sure Nissan will offer a warranty of "X" years with the sale of the packs.
My experience with NiMh (nickel metal hydride) batteries showed that that chemistry had a very long life. I drive my 2002 RAV for 91,000 miles before selling it. The current owner is up to 130,000 miles on the original battery. Degradation definitely slowed with those battery packs.
SamBorealis
There is going to be a flood of used car batteries in the future. Car use is very demanding for a battery. It all depends on cost and the recycle ability of the rare elements used in the battery.
Daishi
@christopher, Batteries are expensive but EV's use cheaper/simpler motors and gearboxes so a lot of the cost of batteries is offset right away even before calculating for fuel savings.
They are a niche area now but once EV's are produced in greater volume they will have a cheaper TCO than ICE vehicles.
Then they will only be faster, more roomy, handle better, greener, and cheaper.
Abby Normal
how does the author know this will be "affordable" if no prices have yet been released?
VincentWolf
It's limited to 4.2 kWh when a Leaf battery itself it 24 kWh. How stupid. Just use the car itself to feed energy back in the grid like the original Leaf to home devices they planned 4 years ago. They sell them in Japan. Why not America?