San Francisco, California — What once powered a Nissan Leaf may soon be powering homes in the San Francisco Bay area, as the Japanese automaker signed a deal with energy storage startup Relyion Energy to give a second life to retired batteries of the popular EV.
Surinder Singh, CEO and co-founder of Relyion, spoke with Business Insider about the opportunity being left on the table when we prematurely recycle EV batteries.
“A majority of these batteries actually have a very good state of health that is left over once the car is retired, but they’re just not suitable for cars anymore,” he said. “They can be of very good use on the stationary and energy storage side.
“Why would somebody prematurely kill them rather than utilizing them for a very long period of time?” he added.
“These batteries can last for 15 to 20 years in addition to, let’s say, the ten years that they were in operation in the car. It makes a lot more sense to actually utilize them for as long as possible, and then at the end of the day, when they reach their true end of life, then recycle them.”
The plan is for Nissan to source batteries from end-of-life Leaf vehicles and ship them over to Relyion, from which point they will be integrated into large energy storage systems.
Relyion says it expects to be offering residential energy options in the second half of 2023.
According to Singh, a storage network of Nissan batteries, which have only been getting stronger despite being capable of powering a home since their first generation, are reliable enough for both emergency and daily use settings.
“One car battery pack would be suitable for a couple of homes,” he said. ‘It can be used for backup power. It could be used for like public safety power shut offs that are unfortunately quite common in California. They can be used for daily use.”