As part of its ongoing effort to reduce CO2 emissions from its vehicles and operations, Honda is conducting research with Ohio-based electric utility American Electric Power (AEP) to develop a network of used EV batteries that could be integrated into AEP’s electricity system.
The project seeks to address multiple challenges related to the expansion of EVs, including the repurposing of used EV batteries, the expected impact of EV demand and renewable energy on the nation’s utility operators and the integration of EV batteries as a storage solution for the electric grid.
The increasing volume of EVs has the potential to strain the power grid, including spikes in demand during early evening hours when drivers plug in their EVs after work. Storing additional power in used EV batteries can help utilities meet demand by using renewable energy resources.
“Together with AEP, we are exploring opportunities to use the 2nd life battery to improve energy security, reduce CO2 and prepare for broad scale electrification of the transportation ecosystem,” said Ryan Harty, manager of Connected and Environmental Business, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Neither automakers nor utilities can address these complex technical, policy and business issues alone.”
Honda will provide used Fit EV batteries to AEP, which will study integrating the batteries into the utility’s electricity grid.
“AEP is focused on building a smarter, cleaner energy grid and putting in place new technologies that will benefit our customers. We are excited about the possibilities of this collaboration as we work to create the energy system for the future,” said Ram Sastry, AEP’s vice president of Innovation and Technology.
AEP and Honda will jointly gain knowledge and expertise from the pilot project that will help both companies to develop technology and standards for future vehicle grid integration, as well as new business models to improve the value of EVs.
The Honda Fit EV launched in 2012 with a fuel economy of 118 MPGe. The lease-only vehicle gained a loyal following among passionate EV customers. Although replaced by the Honda Clarity family of electrified vehicles, including the Clarity Electric, the Fit EV’s durable battery will continue to support Honda’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions through its 2nd life in the vehicle grid integration project.
Honda has set a voluntary goal to reduce CO2 emissions from its vehicles and operations by 50 percent by 2050 compared to the year 2000, and toward this goal has announced plans to electrify two-thirds of its fleet by 2030.
In addition to producing zero emission vehicles, the company is developing vehicle grid integration solutions, including the beta Honda SmartCharge program, which incentivizes Honda EV customers to charge their vehicles when more renewable energy resources are online. At CES 2019, Honda introduced its prototype Wireless Vehicle-to-Grid bi-directional energy management system that has the potential to reduce CO2 and create new value for Honda customers.