Electric vehicles are not only starting to revolutionise the way we travel. Their powerful Lithium-ion batteries often reach the end of their lifespan with enough capacity for ‘second life’ applications, such as static energy storage, and can contribute to improving energy distribution. This also means the batteries avoid the need for recycling or disposal. However, grading the batteries for this use is currently labour-intensive.
Partnering with Nissan, AMETEK and Element Energy, WMG’s battery technology experts developed a safe, robust and fast grading process, automated by a novel algorithm. This UK Energy Storage Laboratory project, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, reduced grading time from four hours to less than five minutes with extreme accuracy. The processes are now being trialled in Nissan’s second-life pilot facility, with the automotive giant aiming for 100% reuse or recycle of its European-assembled battery packs by 2021, with 90% going into second life applications. This could reduce emissions far outside of traveland bring net zero one step closer.