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Advances of 2nd Life Applications for Lithium Ion Batteries from Electric Vehicles Based on Energy Demand

Wewer, Aleksandra; Bilge, Pinar; Dietrich, Franz

Electromobility is a new approach to the reduction of CO2 emissions and the deceleration of global warming. Its environmental impacts are often compared to traditional mobility solutions based on gasoline or diesel engines. The comparison pertains mostly to the single life cycle of a battery. The impact of multiple life cycles remains an important, and yet unanswered, question. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate advances of 2nd life applications for lithium ion batteries from electric vehicles based on their energy demand. Therefore, it highlights the limitations of a conventional life cycle analysis (LCA) and presents a supplementary method of analysis by providing the design and results of a meta study on the environmental impact of lithium ion batteries. The study focuses on energy demand, and investigates its total impact for different cases considering 2nd life applications such as (C1) material recycling, (C2) repurposing and (C3) reuse. Required reprocessing methods such as remanufacturing of batteries lie at the basis of these 2nd life applications. Batteries are used in their 2nd lives for stationary energy storage (C2, repurpose) and electric vehicles (C3, reuse). The study results confirm that both of these 2nd life applications require less energy than the recycling of batteries at the end of their first life and the production of new batteries. The paper concludes by identifying future research areas in order to generate precise forecasts for 2nd life applications and their industrial dissemination.
Published in: Sustainability, 10.3390/su13105726, MDPI