Countries all over the world are working to decarbonize the planet and one of the key elements in that campaign is the introduction and use of electric cars. The batteries are the key challenge. We are working on a way to make them smaller and more effective. Mileage is key to the success of these electric cars. A new study says that making these batteries more powerful will also solve the energy crisis in homes.
The study was done by Element Energy, which was commissioned by companies like Enel and Iberdrola, Renault and the NGO called Transport and Government. It concluded that deploying electric cars, which charge up at low demand times and then regurgitate their power into the grid when the demand goes up, will eliminate or reduce the need for new grid storage facilities and power plants.
They looked at France, Italy, Spain and the UK for this study and found they could save $1.5 billion every year with this smart vehicle deployment system.
The main issue has been the simultaneous charigng of electric vehicles all at the same time. It is a power issue and with full electrification, the numbers get a bit tricky. Where this plan is not implemented, 14 billion will be needed in grid reinforcement. If it is implemented, that amount goes down by 60%
European governments do not look like they are buying into this idea and it might be too late by the time they realize why it is so important. The best thing to do to make this a reality is to ban the sale of vehicles that do not have provisions for this smart technology. Ensuring all new vehicles are capable of smart charging will ensure that the plan works.
A scenario that comes up often from people who say that deploying this en masse will crash power grids is an easily solvable one. All they need to do is make sure that vehicles charge at the right time, like during the day when it is sunny.
Second life for batteries
The batteries can also be removed when they can no longer serve well and be renewed or reused to enhance the grid. There is concern about what to do with the electric car batteries when they eventually die because of how expensive it is to recycle them. Worst case scenario; we discard them into the environment. Even recycling them can cause environmental damage because of the high electricity amount needed to process and then reuse the harmful chemicals in the batteries.
Repurposing these batteries and attaching them to the power grid will save business 42% compared to installing new batteries. They can store in low demand times and feed the grid in high demand times.
There is one problem though. Europe does not even have enough capacity to recycle the batteries that they already have in the combustion engine cars in the road right now. Most of the recycling facilities are designed for handling acid batteries and the car batteries that we are going to use in the future are Lithium-Ion batteries.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens now.