YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (AP) — Batteries from previous Nissan Leaf electric vehicles are being repurposed as portable power sources capable of powering gadgets on the go or providing emergency power in disasters.
Nissan Motor Co. of Japan has sold more than 650,000 Leaf EVs. Their batteries frequently retain a charging capability that outlasts the life of the vehicle.
Nissan claims to be using the old batteries in portable power sources created with electronics manufacturer JVCKenwood Corp. and 4R Energy Corp., a company that focuses on environmentally friendly automobiles and power storage systems.
In Japan, the 14.4-kilogram power source costs 170,500 yen. Overseas sales are yet to be determined. Each Leaf is equipped with 48 battery modules. The portable power stations are made up of two components.
Nissan executives stated that they are testing and reusing the batteries in Leafs after their owners stop driving vehicles. EV batteries contain expensive rare metals and other raw resources, and their production emits carbon dioxide, therefore repurposing them for other reasons contributes to sustainability.
Balakumar Balasingam, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Windsor who isn’t involved in the Nissan project, says batteries can’t be used to power electric cars after their charge capacity drops to about 80%, but they can still be used for other things.