Second life of electric vehicle batteries: relation between materials degradation and environmental impact
Nowadays, the electric vehicle is one of the most promising alternatives for sustainable transportation. However, the battery, which is one of the most important components, is the main contributor to environmental impact and faces recycling issues. In order to reduce the carbon footprint and to minimize the overall recycling processes, this paper introduces the concept of re-use of electric vehicle batteries, analyzing some possible second-life applications.
First, the boundaries of the life cycle assessment of an electric vehicle are defined, considering the use of the battery in a second-life application. To perform the study, we present eight different scenarios for the second-life application. For each case, the energy, the efficiency, and the lifetime of the battery are calculated. Additionally, and based on the global warming potential, the environmental impact of the electric vehicle and its battery on a second-life application is determined for each scenario. Finally, an environmentally focused discussion on battery electrodes and research trends is presented.
Results and discussion
For the selected scenarios, the second life of the battery varies from 8 to 20 years depending on the application and the requirements. It has been observed that the batteries connected to the electricity grid for energy arbitrage storage have the highest impact per provided kilowatt hour. On the contrary, the environmental benefit comes from applications working with renewable energy sources and presenting a longer lifetime. We pointed out that a correlation between cycling conditions and degradation mechanisms of the electrode materials is compulsory for proper use of the electric vehicle battery in a second-life application.
To limit the environmental impact, batteries should be associated with renewable energy sources in stationary applications. However, it is more profitable to re-use Li-ion batteries than to use new lead-acid batteries. Although many batteries applied for electric vehicles use graphite-based anodes, the latter may not be the most suitable for the second-life application. A better understanding of Li-ion battery degradation during the second-life application is required for the different existing chemistries.
KeywordsDegradation mechanisms Electric vehicle Environmental cost Li-ion battery Second life
A.I. and F.A. are supported by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 608931 through the MAT4BAT project (http://mat4bat.eu/). We would like to thank the UPC for the opportunity to do research in these fields.
- 4r-energy (2013) http://www.4r-energy.com/en/company/. Accessed 13 Feb 2014
- Andrew B (2009) Performance, charging and second use considerations for lithium batteries for plug-in electric vehicles. Electr Storage Assoc Meet Sess Transp GridGoogle Scholar
- Casals LC, García BA (2014) A review of the complexities of applying second life electric car batteries on energy businesses. Energy Syst. Conf.Google Scholar
- Casals LC, Benítez MG, Amante García B (2014) A cost analysis of electric vehicle battery second life businesses. XVIII Int Congr Proj Manag Eng Alcañiz, 0946–0958Google Scholar
- Ciccioni P, Landi D, Alessandro Morbidoni, Germani M (2012) Feasibility analysis of second life applications for li-ion cells used in electric powertrain using environmental indicators. 2nd IEEE ENERGYCON Conf. Exhib Sustain Transp Syst Symp Florence, 985–990Google Scholar
- Cready E, Lippert J, Pihl J et al. (2003) Technical and economic feasibility of applying used EV batteries in stationary applications a study for the doe energy storage systems programGoogle Scholar
- Delaille A, Grolleau S, Duclaud F (2013) SIMCAL Project: calendar aging results obtained on a panel of 6 commercial Li-ion cells. Electrochem Energy Summit l’Electrochem SocGoogle Scholar
- Eiber U, Grassmann F (2012) Annual activity report. doi: 10.1021/ie900953z.http
- Genikomakis KN, Ioakimidis CS, Murillo A et al. (2013) A life cycle assessment of a Li-ion urban electric vehicle battery. Parameters settings for EVS27 International battery, hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicle symposium. Barcelona, 1–11Google Scholar
- Guo F, Li H, Yao C et al. (2014) Residential usage profile optimization and experimental implementation of the retired HEV battery with a hybrid microgrid testbed. Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE), 2014 IEEE, 428–435Google Scholar
- Held M, Baumann M (2011) Assessment of the environmental impacts of electric vehicle concepts. Towar Life Cycle Sustain Manag, 535–546Google Scholar
- Helms H, Pehnt M, Lambrecht U, Liebich A (2010) Electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid energy efficiency and life cycle emissions. Transp Air Pollut 18th Int Symp, 113–124Google Scholar
- Leijen P (2014) Real world battery diagnostics model based and prius case study. IEEE 23rd Int Symp Industrial Electron, 2457–2462Google Scholar
- Maini C, Gopal K, Prakash R (2013) Making of an “all reason” electric vehicle. 2013 World Electr Veh Symp Exhib 1–4. doi: 10.1109/EVS.2013.6915015
- Padhi AK, Nanjundaswamy KS, Goodenough JB (1997) Phospho-olivines as positive-electrode materials for rechargeable lithium batteries. J Electrochem SocGoogle Scholar
- Patterson J, Alexander M, Gurr A, Greenwood D (2011) Preparing for a life cycle CO2 measureGoogle Scholar
- Rastler D (2010) Electricity energy storage technology optionsGoogle Scholar
- Teodorescu R, Sauer DU, Rodriguez P et al (2013) Industrial / PhD course storage systems based on electrochemical batteries for grid support applications. Aalborg University, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
- Vroey L De, Jahn R, Baghdadi M El, Mierlo J Van (2013) Plug-to-wheel energy balance—results of a two years experience behind the wheel of electric vehicles. Electr Veh Symp EVS 27. Barcelona, 1–5Google Scholar
- Whittingham MS, Savinell RF, Zawodzinski T (2004) Batteries and fuel cells. Am Chem Soc 104:297–309Google Scholar