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GM, ABB Group team to explore Volt battery reuse

GM, ABB Group team to explore Volt battery reuse

Posting in Energy

General Motors and ABB Group, which provides power grid systems, will collaborate on developing pilots to reuse Volt batteries.

General Motors and ABB Group, which provides power grid systems,  said Tuesday they will collaborate on developing pilots to reuse Volt batteries.

What happens to those Chevrolet Volt batteries when they pass their useful life in a car has been an open question. Dropping those massive lithium-ion batteries into a landfill would defeat the purpose of an electric vehicle.

According to a memorandum of understanding GM and ABB will determine whether Volt batteries can provide stationary electric grid storage systems or have other uses.

The two parties will examine the following:

  • Renewable energy storage to store solar and wind power for future use.
  • Grid load management to store electricity in off-peak periods.
  • Back up power supplies for power outages and natural disasters.
  • Industrial uses to store off-peak power for use during peak demand periods.

In a statement, GM's Micky Bly, executive director of electrical systems, hybrids, electric vehicles and batteries, said the Volt's battery will have plenty of electrical storage capacity even after its automotive life is over.

If ABB and GM can cook up a valid second use for Volt there could be significant environmental benefits. GM has an eight-year/100,000 mile warranty on the Volt battery so theoretically it has some time to cook up a second use.

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure