Rivian set to debut energy storage project using ‘second life’ batteries from vehicles

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Rivian Automotive and the Honnold Foundation are working together in an initiative that is set to use the electric truck maker’s “second-life” batteries as stationary energy storage units in a microgrid project at Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. This marks a huge step for Rivian, which is planning on expanding its reach beyond the manufacture of all-electric luxury adventure vehicles.

Rivian will be utilizing 135 kWh battery packs from its development vehicles for the upcoming energy storage project, which is expected to launch in 2020. The company has designed its battery packs and modules in such a way that they can be easily transitioned from vehicle energy storage to stationary energy storage at the end of their vehicle life. The Rivian CEO described the concept in a press release.

“Second-life batteries are a big enabler to accelerating widespread adoption of renewable energy, and it’s exciting to envision this system contributing importantly to a community. This project allows us to model a customized energy storage solution that takes into account space constraints, disaster resiliency, and energy independence,” Scaringe said.

Using older batteries for energy storage is a clever way for Rivian to recycle the cells it uses for its all-electric trucks. While batteries at the end of their vehicle life will likely show some wear compared to those used in new EVs, they could still function well as stationary energy storage units. After all, optimal batteries for electric trucks require a lot of power, but those energy storage units could make do with much less (propelling the R1T from 0-60 mph, for example, takes a lot of power, but turning on the lights in a household does not require as much).

Rivian and the Honnold Foundation selected Adjuntas, Puerto Rico as the site of their microgrid project partly due to the town being in need of help. Adjuntas was struck by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and the community has been struggling with power since. If successful, Rivian and Honnold’s microgrid initiative could help many of the businesses located near the town’s main square. Residents could also have backup power in the event that power shortages happen.

Further details of the project will be discussed by Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe and elite climber Alex Honnold at Denver, CO on June 15 in a livestreamed event.

The full press release for Rivian and the Honnold Foundation’s upcoming microgrid project could be accessed here.

Rivian set to debut energy storage project using ‘second life’ batteries from vehicles


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