Identifying and Overcoming Critical Barriers to Widespread Second Use of PEV Batteries

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Both the market penetration of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and deployment of grid-connected energy storage systems are presently restricted by the high cost of batteries. Battery second use (B2U) strategies--in which a single battery first serves an automotive application, then is redeployed into a secondary market--could help address both issues by reducing battery costs to the primary(automotive) and secondary (electricity grid) users. This study investigates the feasibility of and major barriers to the second use of lithium-ion PEV batteries by posing and answering the following critical B2U questions: 1. When will used automotive batteries become available, and how healthy will they be? 2. What is required to repurpose used automotive batteries, and how much will it cost?3. How will repurposed automotive batteries be used, how long will they last, and what is their value? Advanced analysis techniques are employed that consider the electrical, thermal, and degradation response of batteries in both the primary (automotive) and secondary service periods. Second use applications are treated in detail, addressing operational requirements, economic value, and marketpotential. The study concludes that B2U is viable and could provide considerable societal benefits due to the large possible supply of repurposed automotive batteries and substantial remaining battery life following automotive service. However, the only identified secondary market large enough to consume the supply of these batteries (utility peaker plant replacement) is expected to be a lowmargin market, and thus B2U is not expected to affect the upfront cost of PEVs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages93
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-63332


  • battery
  • energy storage
  • lithium ion
  • second life
  • second use


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