FRESH THINKING: Car batteries in your kitchen Old packs from electric cars get a new lease of life
A washing machine in
CAR? Next to it is something called a Powervault, which is a battery pack from a Zoe or other Renault EV. Once it’s inished its useful life in the high-stress environment of a car (generally 810 years), it can still hold a useful amount of charge in domestic (or industrial) usage for a further 10 years. What’s the use of having a battery squatting indoors? It makes sense if you have solar panels on your roof. Electricity from the sun can get stored and then used when needed. Also, depending on the deal you have with your utility provider, it can be set up to automatically ill up with cheap o-peak electricity from the grid, to be used later instead of full-price power. Who’s behind it? Renault – maker of one in four electric vehicles sold in Europe – is working with Powervault, whose mission is to help homeowners take more control over their electricity usage and expenditure.
How? It’s currently at the trial stage, with 50 old Renault batteries being itted in the homes of M&S Energy customers who have suitable solar panels. Depending on how the current 12-month trial goes, it could lead to the scheme going mainstream.