Electric vehicle batteries don't last forever. Sure, they can be charged up, drained and charged again, but at some point they just won't get the job done anymore. Automakers estimate that advanced batteries will provide about ten years of serviceable life in vehicles. So what happens to that hunk of lithium in your vehicle after it's retired from the intended duties? It gets a second chance in one of several industries lining up to spring new life into that old battery.

Automakers are seeking used battery contracts in a variety of different industries. They see secondary applications such as wind farms, emergency power supplies, backup power for cell phone towers, home offices, elevators, apartments and even a possible after-life in the vending machine business. Even though the batteries are no longer powerful enough for vehicle use, they will still be more than capable of delivering years of service in other applications.

According to General Motors, it's more cost effective to find other uses for batteries than it is to disassemble and reuse individual components. Why should car buyers care? Because automakers can offset high battery costs by lining up after-life contracts, passing the savings on to drivers and leading to cheaper electric vehicles – or they might just decide to hoard the extra dough for themselves.

[Source: CleanTech]

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