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New automotive application for second-life batteries from electric vehicles

On the sidelines of the COP21 summit, Carwatt and its partners Renault, Paris City Council, BPI France, the Alès École des Mines Engineering School, and the Bobigny Business Campus are showing a converted Renault Trafic powered by second-life lithium-ion batteries recycled from Renault electric cars.

When, over time, the batteries of a Renault electric vehicle fall the performance threshold specified for their initial automotive power duty (around 75% of initial capacity), they can still provide valuable service in “second-life” applications before end-of-life disposal at a recycling centre. Experiments are already under way on power storage applications, for example.

Carwatt uses these batteries to convert used urban commercial vehicles into electric vehicles.

Electric conversion of urban commercial vehicles reduces investment levels as well as makes a concrete and immediate contribution to reducing urban pollution levels, since 94% of commercial vehicles are diesel-fueled. In 2016, Carwatt and Paris City Council will be experimenting with other Renault commercial vehicles converted to run on electricity.


Henry Gibson

GE the maker of Durathon batteries committed suicide recently. They lied that that they were going to use the Durathon batteries in their locomotives and their mining trucks that needed the temperature resilience and life of the ZEBRA batteries that they tested. GE then tried to sell only into the power company market which only had an interest in the Lithium name so the Durathon with a long life and high reliability died because production was not high. A single cell Durathon used for every emergency light would have been the most reliable emergency light with a very long life. GE did not package and market single cells, but forced people to buy large expensive multicell packages if they wanted to use the technology. Every lithium cell sold for flashlights in the world has in the base a built in invisible charge controller protective circuit. Power-walls from Musk will burn up houses far more likely than a Durathon version and cells will fail far sooner and the will cost more than Durathon ones would have considering their greater life and simple construction. GE should have known that NGK had the power plant market with their simpler but slightly more dangerous Sodium Sulphur units. It can easily be proved that hybrid locomotives with Durathon batteries would have saved a lot of fuel, but GE never built ten to demonstrate them. Durathon cells could have been added to every subway car and light and heavy rail transit vehicles throughout the world for energy savings and reliability. Shinkansen could even be walked back to stations or exits after earthquakes with such batteries where in most cases the rail was undamaged. Street cars could go large distances without catenaries and get to one and recharge. The Durathon and its model and survivor, ZEBRA, will work in the Carrwatt vehicles and then can be used for at least ten years as a Power Wall. ..HG..

Henry Gibson

"One advantage which F.Z. Sonick has over other manufacturers with newer battery chemistries is the track record of Zebra batteries in the EV market. Electrochemical energy storage systems required a large up front investment which will not be recovered until after years of reliable operation. You need to convince customers that your product will work as advertised so that a track record of real world performance is valuable.

F.Z. Sonick may find a niche market in telecom backup which they are clearly targeting, but I remain doubtful that Zebra batteries can compete with NaS batteries in the utility scale electricity storage market.

Jun 16, 2011

Energy Storage News

rogerkb [at] energystoragenews [dot] com"

Aaron Turpen

What? An EV story that doesn't fawn over Tesla? OUTRAGEOUS! BLASPHEMY!

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