Renault technically owns a lot of electric car battery packs thanks to its Zoe program under which they sell the actual car, but they lease the battery pack for a monthly fee.
Now they are using some of those used battery packs to power electric vehicle charging stations.
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Groupe Renault and Connected Energy have built the stations on highways in Belgium and Germany.
They want to install the system in locations “where constructing a high power connection to the power grid would be very costly.”
Matthew Lumsden, Managing Director of Connected Energy, said about the announcement:
“We are developing a range of E-STOR systems, some, like the two installed in Belgium and Germany are designed specifically to enable lower cost more sustainable electric vehicle charging so it’s very great to see these in action. We are now talking to several parties about projects in the UK and Europe and look forward to wide scale roll out in coming months.”
They can power the battery packs using onsite solar arrays or micro wind turbines and DC fast-charge the electric cars. It doesn’t have a lot of capacity, but it is useful for more remote areas.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced similar plans for the Supercharger network to ‘almost all’ go off-grid with solar power and batteries.
But Renault’s plan is different since they are using second-life battery packs from their electric vehicle fleet.
Nicolas Schottey, Head of Electric Vehicle Batteries and Charging Infrastructures Program, said about the initiative:
“Groupe Renault is supporting the development of charging infrastructures to simplify the daily life of electric vehicle drivers. 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,”
Earlier this year, Renault said that it has over 100,000 electric vehicles with leased batteries and considering those owners have now the opportunity to upgrade to the 41 kWh battery pack released last year, Renault could be starting to accumulate used battery packs.
What do you think? A good second life for battery packs? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.