Though General Motors expects the batteries in its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid to last at least 100,000 miles the maker has formed a new partnership to find ways to continue using the lithium-ion packs once they’re no longer suitable for automotive applications.
The Detroit maker is partnering with the ABB Group to explore ways old Volt batteries can be used to improve the effectiveness of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. Old batteries might also provide consumers a way to minimize the impact of grid disruptions, and to take advantage of lower off-peak energy rates, the partners suggest.
“The Volt’s battery will have significant capacity to store electrical energy, even after its automotive life,” said Micky Bly, GM Executive Director of Electrical Systems, Hybrids, Electric Vehicles and Batteries. That presents potential opportunities, added Bly, “to provide environmental benefits that stretch far beyond the highway.”