It is predicted that the triggering factor for the market increase of electric vehicles will be the reduction of price of batteries. Indeed, batteries are among the most valuable, costly and critical components in E&HEVs.
The current technology is based on Li-ion batteries while other higher performing more cost effective emerging technologies are still in the testing phase.
Battery systems are generally warranted by producers for at least 5 years. When batteries no longer meet requirements for electric and hybrid vehicles they should be replaced, producing a potentially re-usable waste. Indeed, it is verified that spent E&HEVs batteries may still produce energy, if applied to non power-intensive usage, such as in smart grids, renewable energy generation, small storage systems for household applications and energy back-up systems. However, nowadays the spent batteries management system (Directive 2006/66 EU on batteries and accumulators) is based on a traditional business model conceived for spent portable batteries, adapted to EV batteries collection, and is oriented to destructive recycling of the waste.
CarE-Service will exploit the maximum residual value of Li-ion batteries, recurring to reuse and remanufacturing establishing a circular value-chain at large extent.
Battery packs disassembled from E&HEVs will be first characterized, immediately secured and verified by physical status, model, chemistry, residual charge by Smart Moblie Module (SMM).
Then, they will be packed and made available in the ICT Platform to treatment facilities. Depending on their status, batteries will be:
- reused as a whole in E&HEVs, in case of batteries in good condition salvaged from vehicles involved in an accident;
- reused to produce components for batteries packs for E&HEVs, in case some integer components can be reused;
- remanufactured to produce batteries for second use in other applications, such as smart grid for wind or solar energy in the B2B sector, or micro household storage and energy backup systems in the B2C;
- selectively recycled to recover valuable materials through optimised shredding and chemical technologies.