When the Nissan Leaf went on sale back in 2010 who would have guessed how popular it would have become with the name now synonymous with the electric vehicle industry. The initial battery life of the first batch of Nissan Leaf vehicles is around five years and many will be coming up for renewal over the next 12 months. Disposal of used electric vehicle batteries has always been an issue within the green technology sector although Nissan and GM seem to have found a solution.
The modern-day electric vehicle battery will be discharged and recharged many times in a day and eventually it will give up the ghost. Consumers automatically assume that once an electric vehicle battery has passed its sell by date it is worthless and needs to be disposed of. However, this is a misconception because new technology now means that electric vehicle batteries, no longer able to propel the vehicles themselves, can be used for less power sapping applications.
This is something which many companies have been working on for some time now and thankfully Nissan (and now GM) have been able to exploit this for the good of all concerned. In simple terms spent electric vehicle batteries can now be used as energy storage devices to assist with an array of services.
One more piece of the jigsaw
The disposal of electric vehicle batteries has been an issue clouding the industry for many years now. Even though there have been some dramatic improvements in battery technology, in recent times it is still a problem which is brought up time and time again by environmentally friendly groups.
If we take a look back at the development of the electric vehicle industry, including all parts and services, there have been some dramatic improvements over the last decade. We have seen great improvements in vehicle body weight and safety, an ever extending journey capacity, significant developments in battery technology, not to mention a reduction in overall cost. The electric vehicle industry has been building up to this moment for many years now and is literally within touching distance of the mass market.
What can we expect in the future?
As we touched on above, dramatic improvements in battery technology now mean that electric vehicles can go further than ever before between charges. The issue of journey anxiety is reducing dramatically, with some experts suggesting vehicles in the short to medium term could eventually touch 1000 miles between battery charges. This would obviously be a monumental moment for the electric vehicle industry and while it may be some way off it is not inconceivable within the next decade.
We can only hope that governments around the world maintain their financial incentives to would-be electric vehicle drivers of the future. There will come a point when the financial incentives run out and the industry needs to stand on its own two feet but we are probably some way off that point at the moment. However, there is no doubt that governments of the day will eventually recoup their initial investment and more from an industry which is now a serious competitor to traditional powered vehicles.