Renault EV Batteries Tested in U.K. Home Energy Storage Systems

Renault SA and London-based Powervault Ltd. plan to launch a pilot program in the U.K. next month to test used electric vehicle batteries as energy storage units in buildings with existing solar panels.

The year-long partnership will place retired EV batteries into 50 homes, housing units and schools. Powervault says using repurposed batteries can reduce the cost of its storage systems by as much as 30%.

The trial will evaluate the performance of so-called second-life batteries and gauge customer reaction to home energy storage. In addition to using solar power, the Powervault storage units can be recharged via the energy grid during off-peak hours.

EV batteries typically last eight to 10 years, Renault says. Removing them at the end of an EV’s life and reconfiguring the batteries into smaller packs for home energy systems can add another 10 years to their life, according to the partners.

Through May, more than 6,200 battery-electric vehicles were registered this year in the U.K. Each EV battery  can be split into two smaller packs for use as home storage systems. More than 800,000 U.K. homes have solar panels.