Circular Business Models for Extended EV Battery Life
1.1. Aim and Scope
1.2.1. Theoretical Background on Business Models
1.2.2. Technical Background on EV Batteries and Recycling
2. Methodology and Material
2.3. Data Analysis
3. Opportunities and Barriers
3.1. Opportunities for Second Life
From our perspective, second life makes complete sense, if you can bring the cost right down and bring up the life [of the battery].(Energy storage supplier)
3.1.1. Actors Who can Create Business Solutions
3.1.2. Applications for Second-Life Batteries
3.1.3. Benefits of a Second-Life Battery
When buying a battery from a manufacturer for a vehicle, one wants assurance that the battery performs well in that particular application. There are requirements for the manufacturer, of what performance is required of the cells. But then other things [than first life] are not studied. It would be interesting to perform tests and see what the battery can do after 75%, or 80% [capacity], as that is somewhat unknown.(OEM)
One of the major errors, I would say, is that the second usage company, they see it as if they get a bad product. /…/ But it’s not. For the usage that they need, it’s a product that is OK, it’s going to be cheaper than if they buy the 100% health, not used battery, and they just need to make their business around it. /…/ Buying a 100% [capacity] battery for their usage would be an overkill, they would overpay. I think they will need to see it more as an opportunity to /…/ find [what] that they need for the right price.(OEM)
[When assembling electricity storage using second life], the battery pack is manufactured with extremely high quality and tested in the car for five, ten, fifteen years. [It] has worked really, really well. So you remove it [from the car], measure so you know that the pack is alright [for further use], and hopefully you have the BMS and temperature sensors and everything you need to keep it safe. Then you assemble [the storage installation] and put it in a quiet room that does not vibrate and where temperatures don’t reach −40 or +85 degrees [Celsius]. That will be a very comfortable place for the battery compared to what it has experienced in the previous ten years. In this aspect, I believe that second-life batteries ought to be very, very safe to use in an electrical installation.(Government agency)
3.2. Barriers to Second Life and Recycling
Without significant development we would struggle to see how [second-life batteries] could efficiently compete based on a number of factors e.g., warranty, reliability, service specification levels, cost per throughput /…/ in a number of grid related applications. The battery market is in a state of flux and the actual [issue] of second life batteries (in volumes) [is] many years [in the future].(Energy company)
3.2.1. Technical Challenges
3.2.2. Legislation to Ensure Recycling of LIBs
Lithium, cobalt, nickel /…/ are the important metals to recycle but the weight of them [is] just a fraction of the whole module, so there has to be an update on how to define /…/ the demands on the recyclability of the batteries.(OEM)
It is a no-brainer, understanding that batteries need to return [to the manufacturer] for recycling of metals.(Battery manufacturer)
What I see, is that recycling companies are not prepared, at this point, to [make] large investments in technologies for recycling for example lithium until they see that the market prices, the commodity prices encourage that type of technology, because it’s a very large investment. /…/ The recycling industry is following, quite closely, the OEMs. No one is really willing to take the risk of developing a large-scale infrastructure or technology for a certain type of battery chemistry when the battery chemistries themselves are actually changing. So this is one of those Catch 22 situations, who is going to be the first to take the initiative.(OEM)
4. A Business Model Perspective on Second Life and Recycling
4.1. Barriers for Circular Business Models
4.2. Four Business Model Scenarios
4.3. Future Knowledge Development
- What is the value of a second-life battery?
- How does a used EV battery perform in different stationary applications?
- For how long can a second-life battery be expected to be useful?
- What is the value of recycled battery materials?
- How should legislation be interpreted throughout a circular value chain?
- How can it be made clear who has producer responsibility at different stages?
- What are the consequences of second life, with regard to ecological and social sustainability?
5. Concluding Remarks
Conflicts of Interest
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|Stakeholder in the Battery Value Chain||Number of Interviewed Stakeholders|
|Energy storage suppliers involved in repurposing for second life||3|
|Storage of solar or wind power||Households, property owners||Small or large scale, off-grid or grid-connected|
|Peak shaving||Industries||Reducing power demand|
|EV charging||Property owners, grid owners||Reducing power demand at time of charging|
|Increased grid capability and stability||Grid owners||Instead of installing larger cables, or to avoid fluctuation|
|Backup||Industries, property owners||In case of electricity loss|
|Electricity trading||Electricity companies||Having a battery farm for electricity trading|
|Vehicle propulsion||Vehicle manufacturers||E.g., ferries, forklifts|
|Cognitive Barriers||Organizational Barriers||Technological Barriers|
|Second life||Lack of interest in second life applications that are conflicting with the existing business models.||Regulatory uncertainties in relation to producer responsibility and the definition of the product during the second life.||Lack of standardization beyond the cell level, and in module and pack levels.|
|Not realizing the potential value in second use in the existing market(s).||Not investing in collection of existing batteries due to low volumes.||Lack of knowledge on the remaining capacity after first life.|
|Lack of collaboration along the value chain.|
|Recycling||Aligning investments with previous business models based on selling raw materials.||Risk of investment in large scale automated processes when future technology advancements are uncertain.||Variations in number and type of cell, physical shape and chemistry.|
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Olsson, L.; Fallahi, S.; Schnurr, M.; Diener, D.; Van Loon, P. Circular Business Models for Extended EV Battery Life. Batteries 2018, 4, 57. https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries4040057
Olsson L, Fallahi S, Schnurr M, Diener D, Van Loon P. Circular Business Models for Extended EV Battery Life. Batteries. 2018; 4(4):57. https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries4040057Chicago/Turabian Style
Olsson, Linda, Sara Fallahi, Maria Schnurr, Derek Diener, and Patricia Van Loon. 2018. "Circular Business Models for Extended EV Battery Life" Batteries 4, no. 4: 57. https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries4040057