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Chapter 9: Grand final

After having travelled throughout Spain in an electric vehicle, Pepe takes the eVuelta to Madrid to end with a very special farewell.

The final chapter of the #eVuelta webseries is here! The sustainable mobility route ends its journey with a very special episode. On this occasion, Madrid is the main backdrop for this farewell with chef Pepe Rodríguez.

What awaits him there? Our colleague María del Roser Medina will be responsible for enjoying this celebration with him after 16 provinces and more than 1000 km. Would you like to join them as well and find out what happened?

Now we have reached the end of this journey. If you still haven’t seen its previous chapters, together with Samantha Vallejo-Nágera, take a look at the previous episodes.

If, after viewing them, you wish to know more about electric vehicles and mobility, don’t miss our other series, the reports on:

The electric car revolution

Batteries: second parts can be good

They were considered amortised after just 8 or 10 years, although they were at 70% to 80% of their capacity. But as Leonardo DiCaprio said in the film that garnered him an Oscar, electric car batteries are the new reawakening. The end will come in the form of recycling but meanwhile they can live a second life as productive as the first: lighting football stadiums, providing energy for a data centre, feeding the public lighting system of a city or being the backdrop that lights a household or even a whole city when necessary.

study by the consultancy IDTechEx calculates that in barely a decade, for 2029, approximately 3 million electric batteries will be available to have a second opportunity each year, which represents approximately 108 GWh in storage capacity and many possibilities.

Although most of these possibilities are still to be explored, there are a few examples that show that in the case of batteries second parts can be good or even better:

The Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam houses Ajax for its home games and the biggest energy storage system located in a commercial building in all of Europe. To develop this, the equivalent of 180 batteries was recycled from the Nissan LEAF model to create a massive storage system which, combined with 4.200 solar panels located on the building’s roof enable storing sufficient energy to provide electricity for 7000 households for one hour.

The Japanese city of Namie will install a new public lighting system fed exclusively by solar panels and used batteries of the model Nissan LEAF in a project baptised as "reborn light"; General Motors has used batteries from the model Chevrolet Volt to provide backup energy for its data centre in Michigan and Renault has just launched the project Advanced Battery Storage, the largest storage system elaborated using electric car batteries in Europe, which will be operational in 2020, with a power of 70MW and storage capacity of 60MWh.

The initial modules in this project will start to be stored in 2019 in locations in France and Germany and for 2020 it is expected that this figure will reach 2000 connected batteries, sufficient to light 5000 homes for a whole day.

Picture of energy storage projects with electric batteries

Mega battery for Melilla

We don’t have to go outside Spain to find examples of how to give a second life to electric car batteries From Endesa, we have just launched an ambitious large-sized energy storage project with electric car batteries. This will be up and running in summer 2019 and could guarantee energy supply of the autonomous city of Melilla, which has 86,120 inhabitants for 15 minutes or even longer if loads lower than 4 MW are applied.

The storage system, which counts on the collaboration of Nissan, will be installed in the autonomous city’s thermal power station and will have power up to 4 MW and maximum stored energy of 1.7 MWh. To put this into operation, 78 battery packs from the model Nissan LEAF will be used like the one that appears in the picture.

“As a differentiating aspect, what is sought in the Melilla project is obtaining a cheaper solution with similar and much more sustainable provisions”

Andrés Sánchez-Biezma Sacristán, responsable de Innovación de Generación

Andrés Sánchez-Biezma Sacristán, Innovation of Generation manager recognises that today there are commercial solutions for new batteries with this size and specifically designed for the electric sector and in fact we have some examples of stations in operation with this kind of solution... "As a differentiating aspect, what is sought in the Melilla project is to obtain a cheaper solution with similar and much more sustainable provisions", he states.

Not only is a solution provided for the environmental challenge entailed by processing batteries once removed from the car, but in their new life, "they will support and cover the power station and the Melilla electric system in situations of instability or loss of a generator group", he points out.

Picture of the Melilla energy storage project

El objetivo del proyecto es demostrar la viabilidad de la reutilización de las baterías usadas de los coches eléctricos. “Con el aumento de la flota de este tipo de vehículos, clave en la estrategia de descarbonización del sector automovilístico, se prevé un crecimiento exponencial del número de baterías usadas. Este tipo de baterías al agruparse podrían tener una segunda utilidad en el sector de la generación eléctrica, abaratando los precios con respecto al uso de baterías de potencia nuevas y facilitando su implantación”, concluye Sánchez-Biezma.

Un informe de Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) señala que las perspectivas que abre esta segunda vida de las baterías son buenas para el medio ambiente y  también para el bolsillo: los costes de las baterías, el componente más caro de los coches eléctricos con diferencia, podrían abaratarse hasta en un 95% gracias a esta prórroga en su vida útil.

Y cuando se acabe esta segunda oportunidad llegará el reciclaje. Pero tampoco será el final. Según los datos de Recyclia, el 70% de los materiales de una batería de coche eléctrico pueden ser reutilizados si el reciclaje se realiza de manera adecuada: níquel, cobre, aluminio, litio y cobalto pasarán a formar parte de nuevos productos con nuevas vidas.

Picture of stage 10 of the #eVuelta

Would you like to relive stage 10 of the #eVuelta?

Would you like to relive stage 10 of the #eVuelta?

Find out everything that happened. The main players, their best moments, the journey, details on the car and much more. Are you going to miss it?

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