From Audi to Indian taxis, the funny life of electric car batteries

Audi uses used batteries from e-tron vehicles to power bicycle taxis in India. However, this project is embryonic.

This initiative won’t change the face of the world, but it may be useful once again to highlight the potential presence of electric car batteries. The infamous “second life” we hear about but ultimately remains a top secret, and for good reason: these days, few electric cars actually have batteries at the end of their lives. At Audi, used batteries from the e-tron fleet deserve a second life on the other side of the planet.

From Audi to electric tuk-tuk

At Audi, some batteries from the e-tron fleet that are too used for a car are shipped to India via startup Nunam, which is tasked with equipping electric bicycle taxis, or “tuk tuks”. This famous machine that we see almost everywhere in Asia often runs on lead batteries whose life is too uncertain compared to lithium batteries. It is currently a pilot project that will bear fruit from 2023, but to go a step further, Nunam has planned to supply a rather special type of taxi with solar panels mounted “on the partner’s roof”. Another battery plays a buffer role and stores the energy collected by the panels, in a country where most of the electricity is generated from coal.

“Furthermore, after the battery has spent its first life in the Audi e-tron and second in the e-bike, it may not necessarily reach the end of its life cycle. In the third step, the remaining energy from the battery can be used for stationary applications such as LED lighting.“, determines Audi. It will take all the same that the ecological costs of transporting these batteries from Germany to India are compensated by their use.

Published in 20/06/2022 Updated 20/06/2022

Serena Hoyles

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