The electric vehicle market is only expected to grow in the future, but electrification poses new challenges for automakers and the environment. For example, General Motors was determined to figure out how battery systems could be used after they reach the end of their useful life in electrified vehicles.
Thanks to a new partnership with ABB Group, GM hopes to develop projects that would reuse Chevrolet Volt battery systems, which will have up to 70 percent of life remaining after their automotive use is exhausted.
According to GM, secondary use of 33 Volt batteries will have enough storage capacity to power up to 50 homes for about four hours during a power outage. That’s a significant amount of power that the automaker hopes won’t be wasted. With ABB Group, GM is building a prototype that could lead to Volt battery packs storing energy, including renewable wind and solar energy, and feeding it back to the power grid.
“GM’s battery leadership position doesn’t stop at the road – it extends throughout the life of the battery, including ways we can benefit society and the environment,” said Micky Bly, GM executive director – Global Electrical Systems, Electrification and Infotainment. “As we grow our battery systems expertise, we need to assure we’re optimizing the development of our battery systems with secondary use in mind from the start.”
According to Chevrolet Dealers Indianapolis, not only could Volt battery packs enable utilities to reduce the cost of peak load conditions, but they’ll also help reduce utilities’ needs for power control, protection and additional monitoring equipment.
“Our tests so far have shown the viability of the GM-ABB solution in the laboratory and they have provided valuable experience to overcome the technical challenges,” said Pablo Rosenfeld, ABB’s program manager for Distributed Energy Storage Medium Voltage Power Products. “We are making plans now for the next major step – testing a larger prototype on an actual electric distribution system.”
Check out the Chevy Volt at Indianapolis Used Cars or your local Chevy dealer.