Abridged version of article first published in RENEW No 155
As 2020 came around so did the strong demand and desire for Lithium batteries. This changing demand in battery chemistry (lead to Lithium) created a slump in the value of any used LAB technology, to the point that I can now obtain these batteries free. I am expecting to own a set of Lithium batteries in the near future, that perhaps come from an upgraded battery out of an EV, quite possibly our own Nissan Leaf EV when it gets to a point of range reduction that requires its replacement.
The installing of used EV Lithium batteries into household energy banks has been suggested for some time. At the Tesla battery day announcement late last year, Elon Musk…described the new 4680 cell design that was both more energy dense and less costly…Its packaging which will be changed in such a way that the new ‘battery box’ will double up as part of the vehicles chassis, leading to a lighter weight vehicle and more cost reductions.
The downside is, these new energy dense lithium ion batteries (designed to last beyond the mechanics of the car), will not be able to be removed as either smaller units or as a whole battery, as they will be welded into place along with the entire body shell. Such an outcome will no doubt put a reduced value on these vehicles once the body/ battery becomes unrepairable from collisions.
Herein lies my future battery bank, far be it that they ever make it to the scrap yard. These modern but road dead EV supercars could be permanently parked alongside off-grid and even on-grid homes, with DC supply wires going to readily available hybrid inverters, giving any household the opportunity to have a massive energy store at an exceptionally low cost, with a Mad Max look in our future power demanding world.
*the author is a regular contributor to Renew and occasional contributor to this blog. He is a member of East Gippsland Climate Action Network.