Advance Battery Life Extension (ABLE)

Lead Participant: M-Kopa UK Limited

Abstract

"Innovate UK has the opportunity to enable UK-based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to avoid costly, premature disposal of used EV batteries by repacking cells into second-life packs for use in a novel generation of cheaper solar home energy systems (SHS) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Specifically, support from the Faraday Challenge will catalyse the adoption of a state of the art diagnostic tool to reuse what EV auto manufacturers deem 'waste' batteries for a new product. After 8-10 years' of use, these lithium ion batteries (LIB) are no longer fit for EV performance, yet they still possess 70-80% of remaining capacity, making them valuable for a second-life application. This is critical to the industry, as the number of plug-in hybrid and EVs sold in the UK is expected to increase by 70% from 2016 to 2021 (MarketLine Industry, June 2017). However, the barrier preventing battery repurposing is a robust methodology to build reliable second-life packs with acceptable lifetime expectations.

As a solution, Imperial College has developed a low-cost, innovative diagnostic tool needed to catalyse the market of second-life battery packs. To test its efficacy, Denchi Power can combine this tool with existing industry tests to build improved second-life battery packs for use in solar home systems (SHS). M-KOPA, the global leader in pay-as-you-go SHS, can then prove this concept within its 500,000 customer base in SSA.

In summary, the ABLE project aims to ""re-juice"", reuse and recycle end of life batteries from the UK-based EV industry to extract more value from LIB cells. Specifically, ABLE will ""re-juice"" discarded packs by filtering useful cells using an innovative diagnostic tool developed by Imperial; reuse them in second-life applications such as M-KOPA's SHS; and ultimately recycle them once they have exhausted all useable capacity.

If successful, Innovate UK will enable the UK automotive industry to dramatically reduce its environmental footprint and costs by avoiding premature disposal of LIBs, equip battery pack designers with needed tools to develop and commercialise innovative products, and support the impact of SHS providers by lowering the price of systems thus opening the market to the 1.2 billion individuals in the world without electricity."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

M-Kopa UK Limited, London £226,461 £ 113,231
 

Participant

Denchi Power Limited, LONDON £78,088 £ 54,662
Imperal London College, London £122,972 £ 122,972

Publications

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