Still golden: Depleted EV batteries could be used to store energy at solar farms and they even make economical sense at up to 60% of the cost of new batteries | Photo: Thunderstruck-EV

New study backs used EV batteries for grid energy storage

An important new study published in the journal Applied Energy has backed the use of depleted EV batteries for second life as storage capacity for utility-scale solar power. The study found that even though such batteries were left with only about 80% of their rated capacity, they could be connected in an array to provide sufficient storage capacity for a hypothetical 2.5MW solar farm in the US. More importantly, they were also the more economical option as compared to new batteries, as long as they cost up to 60% of the latter.

Tesla unveils plans for million-mile batteries, GM close behind

Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk has unveiled plans to launch low-cost EV batteries that could last for one million miles worth of driving, or be used for energy storage. The advancement would make them the longest lasting in the segment since current EV batteries typically last between 100,000-200,000 miles. The new batteries are being developed in partnership with China’s CATL, but they may see competition from GM, which also has announced that it is “almost there” in launching its own line of million-mile batteries.

Hero Electric offers three-day return on e-scooties, VW trials online EV bookings

Hero Electric has offered its online customers a first-of-its-kind return policy for its e-scooties, under which they can return the vehicles within a three-day window for a full refund. The offer is possibly a way to get more customers to try an electric two-wheeler — which dominates EV sales in India. Meanwhile, the head of India’s EV manufacturers’ association, SMEV, has commented that in light of the costlier BSVI vehicles entering the fray, electric scooters should see better sales figures as the country steps into economic recovery.

In Europe, German automaker VW Group may be following Tesla’s footsteps as its ID.3 electric cars will only be available online going forward. The idea is gradually reshaping the car-buying experience as it taps into EV customers’ certainty of what they want in their cars. It could also help some dealerships earn better margins as the vehicles’ prices will no longer be up for negotiation.

South Africa’s Mellowcabs possibly headed to India

An innovative new “tuk tuk” developed in South Africa may be headed to Indian cities soon, as the product claims to be the world’s first metered electric cab and is certified to be fully road-legal in all countries. Called the Mellowcab, it can run for 120km on a single charge and is designed to operate within a 3-4 km radius.

It features regenerative braking and also comes with an onboard solar panel, which can supply up to 35% of the cab’s power. The product may be especially suited to the Indian market due to the roughly 300 million “tuk tuk” trips made across the country every day — several of which are increasingly serviced by locally made e-rickshaws.