Second life life boost for electric vehicle batteries

August 12, 2019 // By Julien Happich
vehicle batteries
Over 6m battery packs a year will retire from electric vehicles each year by 2030, opening up new 'second life' uses, says IDTechEx.

After 8 to 10 years of service,  electric vehicle batteries are normally retired due to faded capacity and power that fail to meet the range requirement of electric vehicles. In its 2030 forecast, Dr Na Jiao from market research firm IDTechEx expects that 6m of these will be available each year. 

Recyling to extract raw materials from the spent batteries seems to be the default option. However, those used batteries could still retain up to 70-80% of the original capacity, which could be further utilised in less-demanding applications such as stationary energy storage, before being recycled. Major OEMs and energy storage companies have launched various pilot and business initiatives to explore second-life applications for used electric vehicle batteries.

Second-life batteries provide huge value opportunities for a range of stakeholders across the automotive and energy storage sectors. However, many technical, economic and regulatory challenges exist that prevents companies to profit from second-life batteries.

IDTechEx’ latest report “Second-life EV Batteries 2020-2030” offers an in-depth analysis of key technologies, players, challenges and market opportunities across the second-life battery value chain.

Second-life batteries connect the electric vehicle and energy storage value chains. The potential value of second-life batteries is impacted by how the batteries are designed and used in their first life in the electric vehicles, how they are collected and used in second-life applications as well as the value of recycling. The value chain analysis in this report takes the lifecycle perspective to help stakeholders identify potential value opportunities.

Key technical challenges are identified and companies that are developing technologies to improve second-life battery value are analysed. This report also presents a cost analysis and the potential pricing mechanisms for second-life batteries. Existing business models of battery second use are analysed and how service-based business models could facilitate battery second use is discussed in the report.

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