EV Batteries: From Landfill To Second Life

Ev Batteries
Used Chevy Volt batteries at the GM Enterprise Data Center. Credit: John F. Martin for General Motors

Environmentalists can feel good about re-use of EV batteries.

Environmentalists often face moral quandaries -if they are vegan, and drink almond milk is that worsening the drought in California? If an electric vehicle is powered by a plant run on coal, is that worse for the environment?

And if the lithium-ion batteries used in EVs contribute to landfill, do the environmental benefits outweigh the trash concerns? General Motors and Nissan are creatively re-using batteries from their EVs to power other things and mitigate the effects on landfill.

EV batteries that can no longer power cars have a second life.

Used Chevy Volt batteries help power the lights at the new General Motors Enterprise Data Center at its Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan. According to GM, “five Volt batteries work with an adjacent solar array and two wind turbines to help supply power to the data center’s administrative offices.”

According to the Detroit Bureau, old Nissan Leaf batteries are being deployed in a backup power supply system at a Nissan building in California, with plans to offer a similar system commercially starting later this year.



Judy Antell, who is TravelingMom.com's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell