What happened to the electric car? After disappearing from the market for a few years, things are about to change. Nissan Motor Co. now projects the demand for large-capacity second-life lithium-ion batteries to skyrocket in Japan to the equivalent of 50,000 electric cars by the year 2020. That’s why Nissan teamed up with Sumitomo Corporation and announced in October 2009 its “Reuse, Resell, Refabricate and Recycle” joint venture to give lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars a second life as energy storage solutions by recycling and reusing them.
Nissan is making recycling of lithium-ion batteries a hot topic.
There currently is no existing supply of large-capacity reusable lithium-ion batteries, and Nissan hopes to fill that niche by becoming the world’s first company to provide a zero-emission car. Not only that, but the lithium-ion batteries will also be able to be reused and recycled. Nissan is focusing on launching these electric vehicles with reusable lithium-ion batteries by 2012. Once these vehicles reach the normal end-of-life cycle, their batteries are expected to retain 70% to 80% of residual capacity and will be reused and resold to other markets for energy storage. The second-life batteries are expected to be reused in the following applications:
  • Energy storage for photovoltaic solar panels (residential and commercial)
  • Backup power supplies
  • Load-leveling for the electricity grid
  • Leveling of energy from photovoltaic solar and wind power