IBJNews

Duke Energy exploring other uses for electric-vehicle batteries

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Finding alternative energy uses for lithium-ion batteries no longer strong enough to power plug-in electric vehicles is the aim of a new partnership between Duke Energy Corp. and a Japanese firm.

The North Carolina-based utility and Itochu Corp. announced an agreement Tuesday morning to evaluate and test “reuse” applications for electric vehicle batteries.

Duke Energy, which has about 780,000 customers in Indiana and distributes power to 69 of the state's 92 counties, said the testing will occur in the Indianapolis area, further boosting the region’s efforts to capitalize on clean-energy technology.

Indiana’s 2-year-old clean-tech initiative, Energy Systems Network, which is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, is touting the collaboration as a first between a Japanese company and a major U.S. utility.

“It’s intended to be a commercial pilot that has international market implications,” ESN CEO Paul Mitchell said. “And it’s happening here in Indianapolis in conjunction with the Project Plug-In initiative.”

ESN kicked off Project Plug-In this fall. It includes placing 300 charging stations in the metro area and securing 100 plug-in vehicles for fleets to demonstrate their viability.
 
Both Duke Energy and Itochu are ESN members.

Potential uses for older lithium-ion batteries include providing a supplemental home-energy supply and a fast-charging power source for electric vehicles, which would be much quicker than plugging into an outlet.

But another use may be the most lucrative. A Piper Jaffray report estimates the global market for batteries used to store electricity on utility power grids could be $600 billion over 10 years.

Grid-storage batteries have uses ranging from stabilizing the power grid to filling in the gaps when wind and solar energy output fluctuates.

The pilot project will help Duke Energy and Itochu explore commercial applications for the used batteries.

Duke Energy will provide engineering design support for battery installations, as well as supply test sites and personnel. Itochu will lend its stationary energy storage expertise.

Lithium-ion batteries start to lose their charge after about three years. Duke and Itochu will test the performance of the batteries using 80 electric vehicles.

Conducting the tests in the Indianapolis area makes sense for the two companies.

The batteries will be produced by locally based EnerDel at facilities in Indianapolis, Noblesville and Mount Comfort. The electric cars are made by EnerDel’s biggest customer, Norwegian automaker Think, which has a plant in Elkhart.

The project is expected to last two to three years.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT