Honda & Mitsubishi’s Plan for EV Battery Sustainability

Honda and Mitsubishi Corporation have announced a groundbreaking joint venture named Altna Co. Ltd. This initiative aims to create a circular economy for electric vehicle (EV) batteries in Japan, focusing on repurposing and recycling EV batteries to tackle the challenges of a decarbonized future.

 

The Vision of Altna

Altna will operate battery energy storage systems using repurposed EV batteries and offer smart charging technology to Honda’s domestic market. By developing processes to address EV ownership costs, Altna aims to make leasing EVs more affordable and sustainable. This venture reflects Honda’s strategic move into the EV market, anticipating the need for battery replacement and repurposing.

 

Strategic Goals and Initiatives

 

Energy Storage and Smart Charging

Altna plans to implement advanced energy-control systems for home EV charging, enabling EVs to be recharged automatically during off-peak hours. This initiative includes developing vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems to recharge EVs with renewable energy during surplus hours. Such innovations will help optimize energy use and reduce costs for EV owners.

 

EV Battery Leasing

One of Altna’s significant projects is the EV battery leasing business in Japan, starting with the newly launched Honda N-VAN e:. During the lease period, Altna will retain ownership of the battery, making EV usage more affordable for customers while monitoring battery operation. Continuous battery condition monitoring will enhance battery reliability by predicting future deterioration and maintaining the battery’s state of health (SOH).

 

Repurposing EV Batteries

Once an EV battery reaches the end of its lifecycle, Altna will repurpose it for battery energy storage systems (BESS). This repurposing strategy represents another major business direction for Altna, aiming to integrate used EV batteries into energy storage solutions. This approach will help set vehicle lease prices with the expectation that EV batteries will later become part of a BESS, ultimately easing ownership costs for consumers.

 

Future Prospects and Challenges

Altna’s long-term vision includes widespread grid optimization and BESS operations, anticipating a future where EV battery repurposing becomes commonplace. While this future may be several years away, closer to a decade by some estimates, Altna’s ambitions align with a growing trend toward sustainable and cost-effective energy solutions.

 

However, Japan’s current EV adoption rates and the infancy of BESS operations present challenges. Altna will need to navigate these obstacles to operate at scale and achieve profitability. Despite these hurdles, the joint venture between Honda and Mitsubishi signals a significant step towards a sustainable and circular economy for EV batteries in Japan.

 

Altna Co. Ltd., the joint venture between Honda and Mitsubishi Corporation, represents a forward-thinking approach to EV battery management and sustainability. By focusing on repurposing and recycling EV batteries, developing smart charging solutions, and making EV leasing more affordable, Altna aims to lead the charge in creating a circular economy for EV batteries in Japan.

June 18, 2024
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