In collaboration with ABB Group, a power grid supplier, GM will study how batteries that will have formerly powered Volt electric cars will get a second life, being capable to store energy generated by solar and wind power generators.
According to General Motors, the idea is to find creative and cost-effective methods to improve the efficiency of the country’s electrical grid. The batteries could be used as a renewable energy source, capturing energy produced by the sun and wind and tapped when the need arises.
Chevy Volt will be launched at the end of this year and will cost about $41,000. The two companies will study the best way to make Volt batteries to deliver efficient and clean energy.
Besides this, the batteries could be also used by other utilities to capture energy produced during off-peak times to help fill demand during higher-peak periods. Chevrolet Volt is equipped with a lithium ion battery that has an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty, being the longest in the auto industry. GM claims that these batteries are still capable to provide energy to other sources even if they have powered a Volt for many years.
“We are excited to explore the possibility of employing electric car batteries in a second use that could help build needed storage capacity and provide far-reaching economic and environmental benefits,” said Bazmi Husain, head of ABB’s smart grids initiative.