I am reusing electric batteries in their second life as I convert a Jeep Wrangler to electric!
Electric batteries have a life cycle that allows them to be recycled and used over again, but at a lower battery life. Often, electric batteries are only used once even when they have more life left, so I am trying to reuse them in my conversion project. You can see the battery life cycle here: Glossary for Battery Circular Economy – Electrified Veronika
Reusing the batteries is not as easy as I thought it would be! The batteries are not designed to be taken apart, so this makes it difficult to do so.
It was a process of trial and error, but what finally worked for us was cutting busbars with the Dremel, melting the plastic with a hot knife, and monitoring the battery temperature. We were able to do this with an IR camera.
This process gave us “battery slices” that we can reassemble into new modules. These have a different form factor and electrical connections, which we can customize for our Jeep. We have a 60kWh and 400V battery system for our Jeep Wrangler.
Now we are trying out different designs virtually with heating and cooling included. Stay tuned to see how we reuse these electric batteries in their second life!