Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has developed a new portable charging device called the Off Grid Battery Energy Storage System (ESS) that is powered by batteries recovered from the I-Pace electric SUV. The ESS has integrated solar panels and comes fitted with Type 2 connectors to charge EVs. It has been tested by the Jaguar TCS Formula E team.
The ESS has been developed in partnership with electric equipment manufacturer Pramac. The system claims to use 85 percent of the electrical hardware from the I-Pace, including components such as the modules and wiring. The remaining materials are then recycled back into the supply chain.
The ESS has a capacity of up to 125kWh, which, as per JLR, is sufficient to power a house for a week in the UK. It can further be topped up through integrated solar panels. The Jaguar I-Pace comes with a 90kWh battery pack, and therefore, lithium-ion cells from one-and-a-half second-life I-Pace batteries are used to make the ESS. It's rated to discharge at speeds of up to 22kW and is fitted with Type 2 connectors, which is compatible with most EVs.
The ESS is available for commercial hire in the UK, but JLR has yet to confirm availability or pricing details. The company has also not yet disclosed whether it would be offered in the Indian market.
Second-life battery supply could exceed 200GWh per year by 2030, creating a sub-industry worth over £23 billion (around Rs 2,29,253 crore) in the UK. JLR has pledged to become a net-zero-carbon manufacturer by 2039, and by reusing vehicle batteries. The company is eyeing the creation of a circular business model that keeps its products in use for as long as possible, thereby, minimising battery waste. It has also pledged to explore new potential uses for second-life batteries as it continues to transition to become an EV maker.
The capabilities of the ESS technology were recently also tested by the Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E team, which used the ESS to power its diagnostic equipment and supply back-up power to the pit garage.
“Formula E is the world’s first net-carbon-zero sport since inception,” said James Barclay, team principal of Jaguar TCS Racing. “Jaguar TCS Racing is always looking at improving our carbon footprint, and using the Off Grid Energy Storage System provides us with an innovative renewable energy solution for testing. To use second-life Jaguar I-Pace batteries completes this sustainable circle and showcases the team’s 'race to innovate' mission.”
Revolutionary though it is, JLR isn't the first car manufacturer to start upcycling its EV batteries. In 2015, American EV giant Tesla announced Powerwall - an integrated battery management system that stores solar energy for back-up use with or without solar panels. Later in 2017, Renault too partnered with Powervolt to repurpose EV batteries into home energy storage systems, offering this service to customers with existing solar panels.
A day out in the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace