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The all-new G-Class makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show in G550 form. Completely redeveloped and fitted with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo gasoline engine offering 427ps and 450 lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm to 4,750rpm, despite near-identical looks to its predecessor plenty has changed for the Mercedes-Benz SUV.


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In light of Fisker's solid-state battery breakthrough and claims of a one minute charge time, will this electric vehicle technology development kick-start mass BEV uptake? 

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Renault and Powervault give EV batteries 'second-life'

Renault and Powervault have announced a new partnership that will see electric vehicle (EV) batteries reused in home energy storage units. This partnership will reduce the cost of a Powervault smart battery unit by around 30%, helping Powervault to bring home energy storage to the tipping point of mass-market roll-out in the UK.

Powervault is placing 50 trial units, powered by second life batteries provided by Renault, in the homes of customers who already have solar panels installed. The trial will explore the technical performance of second life batteries as well as customer reaction to home energy storage to help develop a roll-out strategy for the mass-market. The trial will be run with eligible customers of M&S Energy, plus social housing tenants and schools in the South East of England.

Powervault is an innovative home battery system, which enables homeowners to live smarter by increasing their ability to store and use the solar energy freely-generated from their own solar panels. Powervault units can also automatically charge using low cost, off-peak energy from the grid. The Powervault system sits at the heart of the smart home and the optimisation of energy usage within it. As well as reducing the cost of production of a Powervault, the use of second life batteries will also optimize the life-cycle of the Renault batteries before they are recycled.

"The collaboration we are announcing today with these two household name brands – Renault and M&S - is an important milestone on our journey towards achieving mainstream adoption of home energy storage," explained Joe Warren, managing director of Powervault. "Homeowners and brands are now looking to benefit from the smart power revolution. It’s only a matter of time before a Powervault becomes as common in [UK] households as a dishwasher."

"Thanks to this home energy storage partnership with Powervault, Renault is adding a new element into its global strategy for second life batteries, which already covers a large number of usages from industrial to residential building and districts," added Nicolas Schottey, program director, EV batteries and infrastructures at Renault. "The second life use not only gives additional life to electric vehicle batteries before they are recycled, but also allow consumers to save money. It’s a win-win-win: for EV owners, home-owners and the planet."

Within a Powervault home battery system, Renault batteries are estimated to have up to 10 years of additional useful life. Second life battery packs are removed from the electric vehicles, unpacked and graded before Powervault make them into smaller battery packs for their application.

The Powervault second life trial will start in July 2017 and last 12 months. The 50 units in the trial will be divided between the homes of M&S Energy customers, plus Hyde residents, as well as social housing tenants and schools in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, via Solarcentury. M&S Energy will be contacting eligible customers to discuss their interest in participating in the trial.designjunction is part of London Design Week where around 27,000 design professionals and consumers attend the critically acclaimed curated show of the world’s leading contemporary design brands to discover new trends, meet new brands and buy new products.

5 June 2017


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