ARN continues study of 2nd-life uses for batteries from electric cars

ARN continues study of 2nd-life uses for batteries from electric cars

On behalf of ARN, Christian Maccarrone, a student at the University of Tilburg, has done research on collecting used lithium-ion batteries from hybrid and fully electric cars. He studied the feasibility of setting up a collection system for these accumulators and batteries as well as the costs of doing so for the various parties involved.

In the 2BCycled project, ARN, together with its partners DNV GL (formerly KEMA), grid manager Alliander, HAN University of Applied Sciences and Eindhoven University of Technology, has for some time been studying the possibilities of reusing Li-ion batteries from hybrid and electric cars for other purposes. One promising option is to use these batteries for, for example, the stationary storage of sustainably generated energy. ARN has fixed its gaze on the near future since it is expected that, as of 2020, increasingly more electric and hybrid cars will be traded in.

Efficient logistics

Logistics is an important factor in eventually setting up an efficient recycling chain for old batteries. This is why ARN asked Christian Maccarrone, a student at the University of Tilburg, to study this subject. The Italian student has now completed his research and the accompanying thesis. ‘I studied the costs of having batteries collected by vehicle dismantling companies and garages and then having them taken to one central depot. We took as an example the business location of DNV GL in Arnhem,’ Christian said. ‘That is currently the place where the accumulators and batteries are being inspected after having been collected. It quickly became apparent that this manner of decentralized collection was too expensive, partly because of the nearly 1,000 collection points. So we divided the Netherlands into a number of regions and studied the option of having various depots. For another part of my research, I studied the costs charged by transportation firms. There were considerable differences among them.’

Useful and important

Christian thinks that it is useful and important for ARN to explore the market for used batteries from electric and hybrid cars in this manner. The batteries will probably still have 70 to 80 percent of their original capacity after having been used. That is not enough for a car, but there are diverse possibilities for their use in a household setting. ‘It would be a waste of raw materials, energy and money not to give these batteries a second life in this way,’ Christian continued. ‘But it is feasible only when all of the conditions, including the logistics, have been defined as efficiently as possible. In that respect, there’s still enough work to do.’

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