TOKYO: Toyota Motor has agreed to partner with Jera, a fuel supply joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, with the goal of turning old batteries used for electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles into a fuel system. energy storage for renewables, Nikkei has learned.
The new storage system will include a lithium-ion battery and a nickel-metal hydride battery.
The goal of the two companies is to implement new technology that will allow storage batteries to work more efficiently by combining different types of batteries.
Toyota and Jera will target the development of the storage battery by the end of this fiscal year.
Then, in fiscal year 2022, companies aim to connect the storage to the power grid so that they can perform a technical check for practical use.
The system is expected to be primarily used to store electricity produced by power plants using solar, wind and other renewable sources.
The amount of electricity produced by these power plants changes dramatically depending on weather conditions.
By being connected to renewable energy plants, the storage system can store and deliver electricity flexibly according to changing levels of supply and demand.
The project comes as the number of used batteries from electric vehicles as well as hybrids is expected to increase over the next few years in Japan.
According to the country’s auto industry associations, electric vehicles owned by Japan numbered 117,000 in 2020.
For hybrids, the number is 9.28 million, about 80 times more than electric vehicles.
If Toyota, the largest producer of hybrids, succeeds in developing the new technology, it would boost momentum towards recycling used batteries on a large scale.
A large amount of used vehicle batteries is expected to accumulate after 2025.
If the cost of manufacturing storage batteries is reduced by using these used batteries, it will also help develop the renewable energy market in Japan.
In addition, reuse of used batteries is environmentally friendly as it eliminates greenhouse gas emissions used to dispose of old batteries.
In the automotive industry, Nissan Motor and China’s BYD are also working on the use of used electric vehicle batteries.