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February 02, 2016

Best practice benchmarking – What are the other companies doing?

Happy new year and welcome to the ABACUS blog! This month the discussion will be around what End-of-Life (EoL) options Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers are currently considering.

Circular economy

When moving from a take-make-dispose business model to a more circular model as shown in the picture above, several EoL options are at businesses disposal to implement namely reuse or re-purposing in a different application to the one the battery was originally designed for, reconditioning, remanufacturing or recycling. In order to benchmark the current best practice the EoL options for the main players in the EV sector needs to be reviewed.

A recent article on the insideEV website (http://insideevs.com/2015-bev-sales-in-europe-by-end-of-october-with-top-countries-models/) mentioned the top-selling EVs in Europe. The top 5 in 2015 were: Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Tesla model S, VW e-Golf and the BMW i3. Currently the EoL options for these vehicles are:

Nissan Leaf

4R Approach: Re-use, Re-sell, Re-fabricate, Recycle. Joint venture between Nisan and Sumitomo: Grid storage for homes and businesses


Warranty: Car is 3 years or 60,000 miles and battery pack is covered if the battery pack range goes below 9 out of the 12 bars displayed on your dashboard, over a period of 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Renault Zoe

Recycling strategy: Deciding between Pyrometallurgical treatment or Hydrometallurgical treatment

Warranty: Car is 4 years or 100,000 miles and battery is 5 years or 100,000 miles
Battery Pack Lease option: £93 pm for 36 month contract and 12000 miles so 9.3c per mile
If 21000 miles for 36 month contract it is £149 pm so 14.9c per mile.

Tesla Model S

Recycling Program: Closed loop battery pack recycling-closed loop of material use involves manufacturing of battery cells, assembly into battery packs, then vehicles, and finally, recycling into raw materials for future use.
60% of battery pack (battery pack refined into nickel, aluminium, copper, cobalt to make lithium cobalt oxide to re-sell to battery module/pack manufacturers and by-products is used in making construction material) is recycled by Kinsbursky Brothers Inc and Toxco, 10% is re-used (electronics are removed and tested to determine if they can be re-used).

Warranty: 4 year, 50,000 mile (whichever comes first) new vehicle limited warranty, 8 year, 125,000 mile (whichever comes first) battery pack and drive unit warranty for 60 kWh battery pack equipped Model S, 8 year, unlimited mile battery pack and drive unit warranty for 85 kWh battery pack equipped Model S, Both battery pack warranties cover damage from improper charging procedures and battery fire, even if the fire results from driver error.

VW e-Golf

Recycling strategy: Only specifies recycling for material recovery (lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese), no details about process were given.


Warranty: 3-year/60,000 miles warranty (whichever is first), a 3-year paintwork warranty and a 12-year body protection warranty. The Battery has a guarantee for eight years or 99,360 miles (whichever comes first) on all material or manufacturing defects.

BMW i3

Reuse: BMW and Vatttenfall collaboration to use EOL battery packs to store solar energy at EV charging stations.


Warranty: 8 year/100,000 mile high-voltage battery pack warranty as standard, along with the 3 year unlimited mileage vehicle warranty.

From the examples above it is clear that the current EoL option of choice is the recycling route. Current recycling are either using a Pyrometallurgy based or Hydrometallurgy based process.

In recent years various projects investigating second life applications have been undertaken. OEMs like BMW announced a project looking into second life applications for EoL batteries. Nissan also anounced a project that will utilise used vehicle batteries in stationary storage. Toyota is also running a project in Yellowstone investigating energy storage using second life batteries. Tesla on the other hand announced products for the energy storage market using new cells.

As evident from above, the investigation into remanufacturing EoL batteries and reusing the batteries in the applications they were originally designed for is limited. In the upcoming Blog entries we will be focusing the discussion around relevant themes for EV battery remanufacturing.

Until next time...


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  • Interesting project! Will be following closely, and thanks for your efforts. by Tom on this entry

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