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ABB, 4R Energy, Nissan North America and Sumitomo to evaluate the reuse of the Nissan LEAF battery for commercial purposes

Cutaway of Nissan LEAF battery pack. Click to enlarge.

ABB, 4R Energy, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) and Sumitomo Corporation of America have formed a partnership to evaluate the reuse of lithium-ion battery packs that power the Nissan LEAF. (4R Energy was established in September 2010 as a new joint venture company between Nissan Motor Co. and Sumitomo to conduct research and field tests on the second-life use of lithium-ion batteries that have been used previously in electric vehicles. Earlier post.)

The purpose is to evaluate and test the residential and commercial applications of energy storage systems or back-up power sources using lithium-ion battery packs reclaimed from electric vehicles after use. The team plans to develop a LEAF battery storage prototype with a capacity of at least 50 kWh, enough to supply 15 average homes with electricity for two hours.

The agreement will allow us to evaluate the commercial viability of a grid storage solution and develop a prototype to effectively reuse Nissan LEAF batteries. We look forward to working with our partners to take electric vehicle battery energy storage technology a step further.

—Bruno Melles, head of ABB’s Medium Voltage power products business

Electric vehicle batteries have up to 70% capacity remaining after 10 years of use in an automotive application. This longevity allows them to be used beyond the lifetime of the vehicle for applications such as a smart-grid community energy management system or battery energy storage.

It’s important to Nissan that we manage the complete lifecycle of the electric vehicle battery pack, even beyond its use in a Nissan car. Innovations in energy storage systems are becoming more viable as the electric grid gets smarter, and Nissan is proud to work with ABB, 4R Energy and Sumitomo to help bring these possibilities to market.

—Ken Srebnik, Senior Manager, NNA Corporate Planning

Energy storage solutions are expected to become a key component of the smart grid, contributing to greater efficiency, reliability and performance; they will facilitate further integration of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, into the grid. The evaluation of Nissan batteries, through the partnership, will help determine their suitability for the power industry as a cost-effective energy storage solution.

(A hat-tip to Tomas!)


Dave R

Used battery packs would be ideal for providing peak shaving for DC Quick Charge applications.

In California, demand charges can get up to $25 / kW in the summer - so a single 50 kW quick charge that delivers 24 kWh of energy will incur a $1250 monthly demand charge.

Now let's say you're able to cut that demand charge down to 10 kW instead - you save $1000 / month which could get you a very quick return on investment.

As an EV owner, being able to sell your used battery will improve resale values of EVs and make it cheaper to upgrade your EV down the road.

Not to mention, that reusing a product instead of recycling is always preferred - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in that order!


Small efficient ICEs would be a good partner to batteries in a CHP system using a thermal store. In areas with no gas grid you can add PV / solar thermal store.


EP once said on here that you do not do battery to battery transfers, well I guess you might if you want quick charging without bringing the whole grid down.

It might be good for everyone to get out of making absolute statements as if they know THE way and that includes myself as well. I like synthetic fuels using biomass and natural gas, but it is not THE way. It could be one of many ways.

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