Nissan Offers a Valuable Second Life to Electric Car Batteries

Nissan Leaf

Lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries are often the most expensive part of an EV, jacking up the price of what might be an affordable sedan to a price that is out of reach for most consumers. The solution: Nissan wants to recycle EV batteries to store energy on residential and industrial solar panels.

The reasons why this is a cost-effective fix are twofold–batteries still keep 70% to 80% of their original storage capabilities after their supposed 10-year lifespan is expired. And by giving the batteries a valuable life after death, Nissan can lower the overall price of EVs like the upcoming LEAF.

Still, the storage capabilities of an EV battery might not be enough to match the needs of a massive wind or solar farm. But such a battery is certainly strong enough to handle anything a residential rooftop solar panel might throw at it.

Nissan will start up its EV battery recycling scheme in late 2010 with Sumimoto Corporation, a Japanese trading house. That’s just in time for the release of Nissan’s LEAF EV, also scheduled to be released late next year. As of right now, Nissan says the LEAF will be priced between $25,000 to $35,000. But if the recycling venture goes as planned, we might just see an even cheaper LEAF in the near future.

[Via The Wall Street Journal]AS