Driving an all-electric vehicle with limited range and no Supercharging, I do sometimes think about options for long-distance travel, off-the-beaten-path travel, and perhaps even off-the-grid travel. The challenges of EV charging on highways along open fields and long, winding mountains is sometimes that there’s no high-power connection to the grid, and creating a connection is very costly.
Well, Belgium and German EV motorists can relax and enjoy more charging options in rural locations thanks to second-life batteries. UK-based Connected Energy and Groupe Renault have installed two quick-charge stations along highways based on E-STOR energy storage technology.
In fact, Belgium and German electric motorists there will be the first in the world to benefit from this technology. The second-life batteries, of course, come from Renault electric vehicles.
“With the E-STOR system, the batteries are recharged at low power, and the stored energy is then released at high power. It thus becomes possible to offer electric vehicle charging services in locations where constructing a high power connection to the power grid would be very costly. Economical and simple to install, E-STOR will contribute to the development of a network of quick-charging stations in Europe.”
“We are developing a range of E-STOR systems, some, like the two installed in Belgium and Germany are designed specifically to enable lower cost more sustainable electric vehicle charging so it’s very great to see these in action,” commented Matthew Lumsden, Managing Director of Connected Energy. “We are now talking to several parties about projects in the UK and Europe and look forward to wide scale roll out in coming months.”
Renault’s focus on a circular economy solution, further extending the cycle of use for batteries (before presumably recycling them) is where it seems tech should be headed. It shows that as a pioneer and leader in electric vehicles in Europe, Renault is doing its part to extend the EV ecosystem and its sustainability. The energy transition is more efficient when re-using these batteries.
“The solutions offered by Renault with its partners have multiple applications, from individual homes and multiple-unit residences to industrial sites,” the press release adds.
“Electric vehicle batteries generally have a service life of eight to ten years. However, they still have substantial capacity for further use in stationary applications, thus extending their life before recycling. It is particularly to optimise this complete life cycle that Renault has set up the rental of the battery with its customers of electric vehicles.” The latter is something almost all other electric car companies don’t do — the typical approach is to sell the car and battery together, not sell the car and lease/rent the batteries like Renault does.
Back to charging needs, check out what CleanTechnica readers have to share about their EV charging experiences in “EV Charging Convenience, Reliability, Accessibility, & Future Needs (CleanTechnica Electric Car Driver Report).”