Audi uses used batteries from e-tron vehicles to power bicycle taxis in India. However, the project is still in its infancy.
This initiative won’t change the face of the world, but it could have the benefit of highlighting once again the potential existence of batteries for electric cars. The famous “second life” we hear about but ultimately remains very confidential, and for good reason: few electric cars today really have a battery pack at the end of its life. At Audi, used batteries from e-tron fleets are entitled to a second life on the other side of the world.
From Audi to electric tuk-tuk
At Audi, some of the batteries from the e-tron fleets that are used for a car are sent to India via the start-up Nunam, which is responsible for equipping electric bicycle taxis, so-called “tuk tuks”. These famous machines, which we encounter almost everywhere in Asia, often work with lead-acid batteries, the lifespan of which is far too uncertain compared to lithium batteries. This is currently a pilot project that will bear fruit from 2023, but to go even further, Nunam has planned to equip taxis of the special kind with solar panels that will be installed “on the roofs of the partners”. Another battery takes on the role of a buffer, storing the energy accumulated by the panels in a country where much of the electricity is generated from coal.
Co-invented by a team of twelve trainees at the Audi Neckarsulm site in cooperation with the Nunam team in Bangalore, the 3 prototype e-rickshaws are intended for an NGO of Indian women to transport their goods. pic.twitter.com/WpyhYm7zE1
— Richard Loyen (@Richard_Loyen) June 19, 2022
“Furthermore, having spent its first life in an Audi e-tron and its second in an e-bike, the battery has not necessarily reached the end of its life cycle. In a third step, the remaining energy from the batteries could be used for stationary applications such as LED lighting.“, specifies Audi, but it will be necessary for the ecological costs of transporting these batteries from Germany to India to be offset by their use.
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