Toyota launches project to reuse old Prius batteries

Toyota announces “verification project” to investigate second-life use for hybrid and EV car batteries

Toyota Prius - front

Toyota is to investigate how to make the best use of used electric and hybrid vehicle batteries, and intends to build a 10,000kW storage battery comprised of 10,000 old Prius and iQ EV batteries.

That storage battery would absorb surplus electricity from the grid during times of low use, and also store energy generated by renewable sources such as wind and solar farms, which can have unpredictable generation patterns. The stored electricity would then be fed back into the grid during times of high demand.

Nissan trials system to allow drivers to sell electricity back to grid

The new scheme is being developed by Toyota in conjunction with Japanese utilities provider Chubu Electric Power, and will see a “verification project” launched this year. If this is successful, the large storage battery will be built in 2020.

Toyota says used batteries “even with reduced performance levels” can “handle adjustments in energy supply and demand”, allowing electricity suppliers to “manage frequency and voltage fluctuations in power distribution systems.”

The vast majority of the batteries used by Toyota’s new scheme will be nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) units, taken from old hybrid vehicles such as the Prius. But the company estimates that by “around 2030”, more sophisticated lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries from future electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will be used.

Toyota’s new project follows a similar scheme from Nissan, whose ‘second life’ battery project has seen old Leaf batteries provide backup power to the Amsterdam Arena, home of football club AFC Ajax.

The joint venture between Toyota and Chubu Electric Power will also see rare-earth metals collected from old batteries, allowing these expensive elements to be reused.

These are the best electric cars on sale today…

Recommended

Best used hybrid cars 2021
Best used hybrid cars - header
Best cars & vans

Best used hybrid cars 2021

Want to switch to electrified driving but on a budget? Try one of our best used hybrid cars for 2021
18 Aug 2021
Best used hatchbacks 2021
Best used hatchbacks - header
Best cars & vans

Best used hatchbacks 2021

We round up the best used hatchbacks for 2021 - cars that are great for practicality, running costs and comfort
18 Aug 2021
Toyota Prius review
Toyota Prius driving
Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius review

The latest Prius continues to pioneer hybrid tech, but it's also a great family car
3 Jun 2021

Most Popular

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released
Number plates
News

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released

Latest DVLA list of banned UK registrations reveals which 71-plates are too rude for the road
21 Sep 2021
£6k Citroen Ami electric city car gets green light for the UK
Citroen Ami UK - front static
Citroen

£6k Citroen Ami electric city car gets green light for the UK

The Ami is coming to the UK with a price tag of around £6,000, making it one of the cheapest ways to get a new car today
22 Sep 2021
New MG HS plug-in hybrid 2021 review
MG HS PHEV - front
MG HS SUV

New MG HS plug-in hybrid 2021 review

We find out where the new MG HS PHEV fits in the highly competitive plug-in hybrid SUV sector
21 Sep 2021