Franklin, Tennessee – Nissan North American has formed a partnership to explore the reuse of lithium-ion battery packs in the Nissan Leaf. The company is working with power and technology group ABB, 4R Energy and Sumitomo Corporation of America.

The project will evaluate and test the residential and commercial applications of energy storage systems or backup power sources using lithium-ion battery packs reclaimed from electric vehicles after use. Energy storage systems can store power from the grid during times of low usage and feed that electricity back into the grid during periods of peak demand, increasing grid performance and providing backup power during outages.

The team plans to develop a Leaf battery storage prototype with the capacity of at least 50 kWh, enough to supply 15 average homes with electricity for two hours.

Electric vehicle batteries have longer lives than those of personal computers or cell phones, with up to 70 per cent capacity remaining after ten years of use in an automotive application. This longevity allows them to be used beyond the vehicle’s lifetime for other purposes.

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