New Life For Electric Car Batteries – Renewable Energy Storage

The mass uptake of electric cars looks to be finally about to occur; but what to do with old batteries from the vehicles once they have reached the end of their serviceable life? 
In electric car applications, batteries are usually determined to have ended their serviceable life once they can no longer hold 80% of their original charge once fully charged. Recycling the lithium batteries is possible, but poses challenges and is quite energy intensive in itself. 
With 80% charge still available and likely appreciable life left in the batteries for less demanding applications, electric car companies are looking at the second of the environmental 3 R’s (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle) and considering repurposing applications.
Chevrolet/General Motors in the USA has announced it is exploring the possibility of  re-using the batteries from its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle in applications such as storing electricity from wind and solar power generation as an alternative to traditional deep cycle batteries.
General Motors and ABB Group are collaborating to also determine how the Volt’s 16-kWh lithium-ion batteries can be used to provide stationary electric grid storage systems within smart grid infrastructure and backup power supplies for communities.
The Chevrolet Volt battery has an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, the longest in the industry says GM.
"Chevrolet and GM are committed to assuring that our vehicles minimize their impact on the environment," says Micky Bly, GM Executive Director of Electrical Systems, Hybrids, Electric Vehicles and Batteries. "Our focus on finding additional applications for the Volt’s batteries after their vehicle use extends our commitment to unprecedented levels."
The Chevrolet Volt will be sold in Australia under the Holden brand in 2012.