A second life for electric car batteries: A second life for electric car batteries: The German–Indian start-up Nunam is bringing three electric rickshaws to the roads of India, according to an official statement by Audi Environmental Foundation GmbH.
They are powered by used batteries taken from test vehicles in the Audi e-tron test fleet.
The aim of the project is to explore how modules made with high-voltage batteries can be reused after their car life cycle and become a viable second-life use case.
The project also aims to strengthen job opportunities for women in India in particular: They will be provided with the e-rickshaws to transport their goods.
The non-profit start-up based in Berlin and Bangalore is funded by the Audi Environmental Foundation.
Nunam developed the three prototypes in collaboration with the training team at Audi’s Neckarsulm site, which in turn benefits from the intensive intercultural exchange.
This is the first joint project between both AUDI AG and the Audi Environmental Foundation in addition to Nunam.
The e-rickshaws powered by second-life batteries are scheduled to hit the roads in India for the first time in a pilot project in early 2023. There they will be made available to a non-profit organization. Women in particular will be able to use the all-electric rickshaws to transport their goods to market for sale, all without the need for intermediaries.
The e-rickshaws are powered by used battery modules that spent their first life in an Audi e-tron.
“The old batteries are still extremely powerful,” says Nunam cofounder Prodip Chatterjee.
“When used appropriately, second-life batteries can have a huge impact, helping people in challenging life situations earn an income and gain economic independence – everything in a sustainable way.”
The start-up says its primary goal is to develop ways to use old batteries as second-life power storage systems, thus both extending their lives and using resources more efficiently.
“Car batteries are designed to last the life of the car. But even after their initial use in a vehicle, they still have a lot of their power,” Chatterjee explains. “For vehicles with lower range and power requirements, as well as lower overall weight, they are extremely promising. In our second-life project, we reuse batteries from electric cars in electric vehicles; you might call it electric mobility ‘lite’. In this way, we’re trying to find out how much power the batteries can still provide in this demanding use case.”
Timo EnglerHead of Training Automotive Engineering / Logistics at the Neckarsulm site: “Our team of trainees benefits from the intercultural exchange,
the Nunam team from our know-how in battery electronics, charging time, and design – the result is a tuk-tuk with Audi’s DNA.”