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Reusing EV Batteries to Charge Ahead

How Mullen plans to contribute to a circular economy and lower the environmental impact of our EVs.

The Mullen Automotive team considers the battery the heart of an EV. Comparable to the engine of gas-powered vehicles, the battery is the most significant influencer of a vehicle’s performance and efficiency. Consequently, this also means the battery must meet demanding power requirements and remain healthy enough for EV applications for around 10 to 15 years of use. Afterward, these batteries can still match 70%-80% of the performance of brand new units and, therefore, can meet the requirements of stationary energy storage applications for up to 20 more years. With batteries having so much to offer even after the first 10-15 years of use, it is no wonder many in the EV industry are beginning to turn their attention to repurposing.

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All batteries pose a potential environmental hazard due to the acids and metals they contain. While EV market growth continues, OEMs need to be prepared to deal with returning batteries that are no longer useful inside their EVs. Recycling centers will still be the final destination of EV batteries; however, battery waste is reduced even further by lengthening the time before recycling. These efforts also contribute to a more circular economy — thus helping preserve limited natural resources. In addition, adding to a battery’s lifespan reduces the demand for mining rare earth metals that cannot be completely recovered in the battery recycling processes. Mining is the primary contributor to each battery’s carbon footprint, and efforts to reduce this are key to continued progress toward lowering carbon emissions.

 

 

shutterstock_2036853938Environmental benefits don’t stop there. Energy storage is a barrier to the widespread implementation of more renewable energy sources because the high demand for batteries in other industries drives up costs. When an EV battery is repurposed, it creates more affordable energy storage. More affordable energy storage means lower fixed costs associated with the renewable energy industry for everyone, from homeowners to large-scale utility providers.

Completing the circle between renewable energy sources and EVs is what Mullen envisions for the future. We recognized these practical and environmental advantages and have used them as a guiding principle throughout the design process for our battery packs. This holistic approach to our engineering process has resulted in a unique pack design that aids the process of repurposing batteries, making it safer and more cost-effective than before.

 

 

“Repurposed batteries fit naturally into the ecosystem of Mullen products. We see our influence beyond our vehicles and want to use that to cultivate a better experience for EV users. We know energy storage is key to reliable renewable energy coming to our homes and charging our vehicles. Therefore, we are choosing to be a part of that process early on." — Rainer Schulz, VP Electrical Systems Engineering

 

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