Renault Electric Car Batteries Find Second Life as Part of Solar Panel System

Renault Electric Car Batteries Find Second Life as Part of Solar Panel System 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Ever wondered what happens to the electric batteries from a hybrid or electric vehicle. The first Renault Z.E. models entered production in 2011, so the French automaker has decided it's time to figure out what else it can do with the "Duracell" inside the Fluence or Kangoo electric models.
They have developed a partnership between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Bouygues Energies & Services to reuse the expensive pieces of equipment. Once removed from the cars, the batteries are refurbished and installed into an electrical system linked to a field of solar panels.

As you all know, not every day of the year features clear skies. So the output of the solar panels can vary. That's where the EV batteries come in, as they are used to store electricity during high output periods, smoothing out the lumps and bumps in output.

We're sorry to break it to you, Renault, but the idea is hardly new. Mercedes is also doing this. But most importantly, many firms in California buy second-hand batteries from the first and second Toyota Prius.

Not only are there specialized auction websites for this but we've heard there are even thieves who only steal the battery from a Prius because it's easy to sell. For some reason, Toyota's pack is ideal if you have a solar panel array on the roof of your corporation.

Earlier this month, Renault announced another partnership for the purpose of reusing EV batteries. A firm called Carwatt wants batteries that fall below the performance threshold specified for their initial automotive power duty (around 75% of initial capacity) to convert used urban commercial vehicles into electric vehicles. No further details are available, but engineers managed to put together a special Renault Trafic with five packs of old cells.

The line of Renault electric vehicles began with several Z.E concepts shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Fluence version and battery swap project have been scrapped, but Renault isn't giving up on electric cars, partly because the company has the backing of the French government. In 2011, they won a contract to supply 15,600 electric vehicles to the postal services. Right now, Z.E. models range from about €5,000 for the basic Twizy to over €20,000 for the more successful Zoe built in Flins.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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