Experts agree that if the mass-adoption of electric vehicles comes about, it is going to put pressure on the electricity grid, so most believe that the push to EVs must also be accompanied by a push for renewable energy and energy storage.
The latter of the three is where EV batteries come in, after they have performed their duties in vehicles and no longer able to provide an adequate driving range.
Honda has partnered with Ohio-based utility company American Electric Power (AEP) to develop a network of used EV batteries that could be repurposed and integrated into AEP’s electricity system. The idea is to store electricity for use at peak times, most notably in the early evening as EV owners arrive home from work and plug in their vehicles
“Together with AEP, we are exploring opportunities to use the 2nd life battery to improve energy security, reduce CO2 and prepare for broad scale electrification of the transportation ecosystem,” said Ryan Harty, manager of Connected and Environmental Business, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Neither automakers nor utilities can address these complex technical, policy and business issues alone.”
The partnership involves a pilot project where Honda will provide used Honda Fit EV batteries to AEP, which will integrate it into its electricity grid. The two will work together to gain knowledge and expertise to aid in the development of technology and standards, and to create new business models to improve the value of EVs.
“AEP is focused on building a smarter, cleaner energy grid and putting in place new technologies that will benefit our customers,” said Ram Sastry, AEP’s vice president of Innovation and Technology. “We are excited about the possibilities of this collaboration as we work to create the energy system for the future.”
The Fit EV had a limited run from 2012 through 2014, and its batteries could hold enough electricity for a 110-160 km (with the real-world range averaging 132 km). It was replaced by the Clarity family (including an electric version) as Honda strives to electrify 2-thirds of its fleet by 2030.