U.S. firm plans to power soccer stadiums using aging Nissan Leaf batteries

us firm plans to power sports venues with aging nissan leaf batteries johan cruyff arena
Johan Cruyff Arena. Antoon Kuper/Creative Commons

We’re hearing more and more about projects that give aging electric-car batteries a second life by powering everything from homes to street lamps, but a U.S. firm is taking it to the next level by using the packs to power entire stadiums.

Power management giant Eaton is already using its xStorage system to provide electricity for the Johann Cruyff Arena — a 55,000 capacity stadium home to Netherlands soccer team Ajax — and is now in talks with six other European soccer venues with a view to expanding its system, Reuters reported this week.

As electric-car batteries age, they lose their ability to power vehicles but can still be used for up to 10 years in so-called “second-life” scenarios.

With sales of electric vehicles on the rise, looking for ways to utilize the growing number of old EV batteries is a growing business, with Eaton, for one, confident of its plan to power more stadiums.

The Ohio-based company says its xStorage solution, which uses lithium-ion packs from Nissan’s Leaf cars, can save customers power-related costs of up to 20% compared to new batteries. According to news outlet Current, the setup at the Johann Cruyff Arena is able to provide full power to the venue for an hour during a major event, or three times that if facilities such as kitchen equipment are disconnected from the system.

The arena’s xStorage system uses 250 second-life battery packs, but as there are still too few aging batteries to utilize, it also incorporates 340 first-life battery modules — all from Nissan. However, the supply situation is set to change, with data suggesting the global stockpile of EV batteries will reach around 3.4 million packs by 2025, compared to about 55,000 in 2018.

Most of the major automakers, together with firms such as Eaton that specialize in power management, are exploring the myriad of opportunities that aging EV batteries present, which in turn will provide a new revenue stream while burnishing the companies’ green credentials.

Nissan, for example, is looking into the idea of using the batteries to power street lamps, which would certainly prove their worth if a natural disaster like an earthquake knocked out the central power supply in a populated area. On a lighter note, the automaker recently showed how aging EV batteries could be used to provide a makeover for the humble ice cream truck, powering not only its motor, but also the machinery inside the truck, creating a zero-emissions business and as a consequence a much cleaner environment around the truck as staff serve customers.

Renault and BMW, among others, are also finding ways to give EV batteries a second life.

Cars

Formula E races aren’t just exciting, they’re driving EV tech into the future

Formula E made its annual trip to the Big Apple, showing just how far the all-electric racing series has come. The cars are faster, and the racing is closer, but the tailpipe emissions are still at zero.
Cars

Built-in coolers, tents, and kitchenettes make these the best cars for camping

For a successful camping trip, you’ll need a tent, s’mores, and some quality humans to share them with. A good car can transform the entire experience, though, so we’re counting down 15 of the best cars for camping.
Gaming

Did your PS1 favorite make our list of the best PlayStation games?

Take a stroll down memory lane with the 50 best games ever released for the original PlayStation. From all-time classics like Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil 2 to quirky gems like PaRappa the Rapper, the PS1 had it all.
Cars

Lotus Evija electric supercar is bursting with cutting-edge tech

The Lotus Evija is the latest in a steadily growing crop of electric supercars. Lotus is aiming for 2,000 horsepower, with the fastest-charging battery of any electric car so far.
Cars

Playing Forza inspired this gamer to 3D-print a Lamborghini for his son

Lamborghini charges about $400,000 for an Aventador S, so Colorado physicist Sterling Backus decided to make one in his garage for $20,000. Working with his son, he is painstakingly 3D-printing the supercar's body panels.
Cars

AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the difference between the two and which is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

There is no way to say pickup truck in emoji, and Ford wants to change that

Ford asked the Unicode Consortium to include a pickup truck in the database of emojis. The company is confident its request will be approved, and a blue pickup truck loosely shaped like an F-150 will be available in early 2020.
Cars

Manual vs. automatic vs. CVT: Different types of transmissions explained

From automatic to manual to CVT, there are several types of transmissions in the automotive world. In the battle of automatic versus manual, which wins? We'll help you pick the right gearbox for you.
Cars

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Mobile

Uber’s in-car shopping service now sells way more than just snacks

The Cargo Box launched in 2018 to offer Uber drivers an easy way to sell snacks and drinks to riders. The service is now expanding to include lots more items, including tech products and travel accessories.
Cars

The last two affordable station wagons in America are about to retire

Volkswagen confirmed it will stop making the Golf Sportwagen and the Golf Alltrack by the end of 2019. Both station wagons are at the end of their life cycle, but they won't be replaced because they compete in a shrinking segment of the…
Cars

How Lexus, one of the industry’s hybrid champions, is preparing for the 2020s

Lexus predicts significant shifts will reshape the automotive industry during the 2020s. The hybrid champion is preparing to branch out into electric cars, it's investing in autonomous technology, and it wants to keep focusing on SUVs.
Cars

Cadillac’s new 2020 CT5 sedan lets you Super Cruise across America

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 proves the General Motors-owned luxury brand still cares about sedans. Introduced at the 2019 New York Auto Show, it's optionally available with Cadillac's Super Cruise technology and a lineup of turbocharged engines.
Cars

Toyota’s futuristic golf cart will transport people around at the 2020 Olympics

Toyota is reinventing the golf cart for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The company designed a vehicle named the Accessible People Mover that will transport visitors, athletes, and staff members from venue to venue.