The French automaker, one of the few “all hands in” proponents of green vehicles, has now partnered with Powervault to give used electric vehicle batteries a second chance in life as home energy storage elements.
This is not a new idea – Tesla and Mercedes (albeit they use new batteries) have their own home and business energy storage solutions, with the Americans arguably being the more renowned in this case. Powervault says the use of former electric vehicle batteries is good way to drop the cost of a Powervault ‘smart battery’ by 30%, which might persuade consumers to adopt them. An initial trial run will see the production of 50 units made from former Renault electric vehicle batteries be used by select homes that also have solar panels, some Greenwich schools and some social housing residences.
The idea is to bundle them with customers already owning a solar grid, with the packs storing the collected energy – and they can also be charged when energy costs less, then resend the energy into the house during peak grid times, when electricity straight from the grid would be more expensive. Renault explains that after about eight to ten years inside an EV the batteries can still be used for around a decade in the Powervault system.