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Companies Seek to Profit from Old EV Batteries

A number of companies have been established to provide a second life for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. But industry experts say such businesses could face major difficulties, even as the EV market continues to grow.

Reuters news agency reports nearly 50 startup companies have been launched with the aim of buying used EV batteries and reselling them to be used for new purposes. In addition, large carmakers, such as Mercedes and Nissan, have set up their own operations to give EV batteries a second life.

The companies’ founders believe they can find new purposes for used EV batteries from vehicles. The businesses will seek batteries that have been in use for eight to 10 years. The capacity of EV batteries generally falls below 80 to 85 percent during those years. Then, the companies will repurpose the batteries and sell them.

But experts say there is currently a shortage of old EV batteries and this situation is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. One reason for this is that many people are keeping their vehicles for a longer time.

Financial research company S&P Global Mobility notes that EV vehicle owners in the United States are keeping their cars a record 12.5 years. This suggests to experts that many EVs will also stay on the road for years to come even if their batteries are working below capacity.

Hans Eric Melin is the creator of advisory company Circular Energy Storage, which follows battery sales and prices. He told Reuters the idea “that EV batteries are only going to last eight-to-10 years and then owners would swap them out is just not true.” Melin added, “It’s going to be tricky to make second-life work.”

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