Electric vehicle batteries last much longer than a lot of people think. Non-EV owners’ battery experience, and ultimately the overall perception of battery performance, are probably guided by everyday consumer devices such as mobile phones where they probably have to change the battery after a couple of years. How much does it cost to replace the battery is one of the frequently asked questions when people ask about EVs.
Renault and Nissan had battery lease options on the Zoe and the Leaf in several countries for a number of years to try and “de-risk” the ownership experience based on some of these perceptions. Recent studies show, however, battery cells could last for over 1 million miles. Toyota is already using a 1 million kilometer tag in its marketing and warranty packages for the UX 300e. With 7 million EVs already on the road worldwide and battery production predicted to reach 800 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2025 from around 210 GWh this year, there are going to be a lot of batteries going around that are still in good shape for repurposing for other applications in a second life, such as in stationary storage.
Revov South Africa is going big on second-life batteries for stationary storage applications.
“EVs improve decarbonization efforts and offer improvements in urban air quality. EV batteries, once removed, have a residual capacity of 80% and that they are ideal for stationary storage. In China, an agreement has been signed that base stations in the country will have their batteries replaced with second-life batteries.” Lance Dickerson, CEO of Revov.
By using 2nd Life, we are encouraging our customers to think green, by not putting extra pressure on global commodities and resources by using recycled EV batteries. Revov offers both new and second life Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries
“We offer a 10-year warranty equally on both LiFe and 2nd LiFe. LFP batteries have the added environmental benefit of being free from Cobalt – cobalt mining has a massive negative environmental and social impact. The operating performance of EV LFP batteries is of the highest standard and compared to storage grade LFP batteries are actually manufactured to international standards and are therefore of a much higher quality and have more predictable lengths of life which we can rely upon for second life.”
The high-level breakdown of sales between the two ranges of battery is 2nd LiFe 80% vs LiFe 20%. “The split of 80% vs 20% 2nd life vs 1st indicates that our customers trust the 2nd life offer and see better value for money vs 1st life batteries.” Revov have sold over 60 megawatt-hours (MWh) of its batteries since it started. It was founded by Lance Dickerson (CEO) and Felix Von Bormann (Technical Director). They identified that 2nd LiFe Batteries offered longevity and reliability at a lower cost of storage. They then struck a partnership in China, sourcing the largest EV manufacturer’s 2nd LiFe cells, which are removed from buses when they have reached 80% of their original capacity.
Revolve imported its first container of 2nd LiFe batteries in 2018 from China, where the cells are removed from battery packs of buses & other EVs and then assembled into stationary storage packs. Its batteries are also now being exported to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho. South Africa has been experiencing some rolling power rationing cycles as the power utility struggles to meet demand. Its regional peers Zimbabwe and Zambia are also struggling. This has resulted in strong demand for battery storage. Revov is scaling up its operations and has just moved to a new facility. “Our new warehouse is more than double the size of our current premises and we will be able to handle higher volumes of sales and more efficient service in our after-sales department.” Revov now has over 200 active installers selling its brand of batteries.
Its current range includes:
- 10.2 kWh 2nd Life battery pack
- 11.2 kWh 1st Life battery pack with cells from CATL
- 5.1 kWh battery pack
Revov is moving to strengthen its local support network for installations and maintenance, along with ensuring the availability of parts locally and shorter lead times as compared to similar products imported from overseas. “We have realized that with considerable sales, we need to back that up with quality after-sales support. We have grown our team and have cut down on time taken to resolve customer concerns dramatically.”
This is another great example of how EVs promote the Circular Economy. Second life batteries will help accelerate the solar and storage space for both urban on-grid & weak grid applications as well as rural off-grid applications by lowering the price of stationary storage. Cheaper storage options coupled with financing options such as Paygo platforms will definitely help catalyze adoption. You can check out more on developments in the second life battery industry here.
Featured image and all images courtesy of Revov.