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Nissan, ABB to Use EV Batteries for Electrical Storage; Coda Launches Energy Arm

EV makers are moving in on the energy storage market, with Nissan North America and ABB partnering to evaluate the reuse of lithium-ion battery packs, and Coda Holdings launching an energy business.

Nissan and ABB are teaming up with Sumitomo Corporation of America and 4R Energy – itself a joint venture between Nissan and Sumitomo – to test the commercial and residential applications of energy storage systems or back-up power sources using lithium-ion battery packs reclaimed from the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. The team plans to develop a Leaf battery storage prototype with a capacity of at least 50 kWh, enough to supply 15 average homes with electricity for two hours.

Electric vehicle batteries have up to 70 percent capacity after 10 years of in-vehicle use, Nissan says, allowing them to be used beyond the lifetime of the vehicle for applications such as smart-grid community energy management systems or battery energy storage.

Meanwhile, Coda’s new business arm will use the company’s existing Li-ion battery system, coupled with its battery management system and active thermal management system, to offer products for generation, distribution and behind-the-meter applications. These will serve commercial and industrial needs, as well as microgrids, the security sector, the transportation sector and EV-fleet management, the company says.

The new Coda Energy division will join Coda’s existing Los Angeles-based business lines, Coda Automotive and Coda EV Propulsion Systems. Coda will share proprietary innovation, research and development, and manufacturing intelligence among its automotive and stationary energy storage divisions.

Coda says its existing joint venture with battery manufacturer Lishen, a supplier to Coda Automotive as well as to Apple, Samsung and other major companies, will support the new operations and their ability to deliver cost-effective large-scale supply.

A modular design is integral to Coda’s battery storage technology, which uses vertical energy towers that operate together but are managed independently. This promotes cost efficiency and enables continuous operation when performing maintenance, the company says.

Worldwide installations of energy storage capacity are expected to increase from 121 megawatts (MW) in 2011 to 12,353 MW in 2021, with an estimated $122 billion in potential deployments over the next 10 years, according to Pike Research.

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