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Lithium battery regeneration and stationary storage systems

With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, the issue of end-of-life management of new-generation batteries, mainly lithium batteries, is becoming more and more important within the automotive supply chain.

An answer, albeit partial, is provided by the possible reuse of these batteries at the end of their first use related to the movement of electric vehicles. In fact, it is estimated that a lithium car battery can retain a nominal residual capacity of 80 per cent at the end of an eight-year life cycle and for a distance of 150,000 km. Some operators in the sector, universities and public bodies are therefore equipping specialised facilities to diagnose and regenerate lithium batteries that are no longer used in vehicles, in order to ensure that they can be put back on the market. What use is this? Typically that of stationary batteries, which are subjected to shallower discharges than those required for electric mobility. Stationary batteries are used in photovoltaic, wind power, power stations and UPS applications.

However, a number of questions remain open, and these will have to be addressed in the coming months. In fact, it will be necessary to draw up standard diagnostic procedures and criteria that offer sufficient guarantees, in terms of reliability and safety, for a second release for consumption, as well as ways of transferring the extended responsibility of the Producer between the operators in the chain, with reference to the obligations of management and disposal at the end of the product's life. In this scenario, in fact, the Producer who first put the battery on the market (in the case of the electric vehicle, the manufacturer of the same), will not coincide with the Producer who introduces it a second time on the market for stationary applications.

In spite of some critical technical and procedural issues, the organisation of a system that is permanently capable of extending the expected life of lithium batteries will produce clear advantages in terms of environmental sustainability, reducing the need for critical raw materials and the amount of waste to be taken for disposal.


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