Published on May 24th, 2022 | by Subhash Nair


Suzuki Just Came Up With A Genius Way To Reuse Old EV Batteries

Old, end-of-life electric vehicle batteries find their way into solar powered street lights in Japan.

When it comes to the electric vehicle debate, a major cause for environmental concern is the batteries at their end of life. Lithium ion batteries are not particularly easy to recycle. In fact, when companies ‘recycle’ lithium ion batteries, most of what happens is they extract cells that are still safe and stable enough and repurpose them for a different task. An ageing 300kg battery pack might not be great at moving the electric vehicle it was made for, but maybe 250kg of those cells can be re-used to store power at a hospital in case of a power outage.

Thinking along those lines, Suzuki Motor Corporation has come up with a new technology to reuse small lithium-ion batteries from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). The company essentially takes those batteries and puts them into street lamps that have solar panels on them. Throughout the day, the solar panels generate electricity from the sunlight and stores it in the batteries. The batteries then power the streetlights throughout the night.

This is pretty ingenious as it not only closes the loop for the lithium-ion batteries but also enables the street lamps to run on carbon-free electricity. Now, why can’t we have this here? There’s more than enough sunlight. There are plenty of discarded laptop and phone batteries. There are plenty of engineers looking for work. There’s a solar panel industry.

lithium ion batteries

In fact, we were at an event earlier today where a representative from TNB talked about the company’s long term plan on cutting carbon. Why wait until 2050? A project like this could help achieve short to medium term goals.

Anyway. Here’s the press release with more information.


As part of its non-profitable activity utilizing the net surplus generated from the Japanese vehicle recycling fees, Suzuki Motor Corporation has developed a technology to reuse small lithium-ion batteries collected from ELVs for solar-powered streetlights in Japan.

Small lithium-ion batteries collected from ELVs had been disposed with the battery life still remaining. The new technology enables to reuse batteries collected from ten ELVs as batteries for one solar-powered streetlight. Moreover, the technology will open up the way for efficient utilization of small lithium-ion batteries which are to increase in the future. The developed technology will be made open to the public as a product of Suzuki’s non-profitable activity to penetrate the technology.

Suzuki will continue to make initiatives that contribute to a sustainable society.

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