As the market for electric vehicles grows, battery suppliers and automotive companies are focussing on second-life use to improve their sustainability credentials and revenue models.
Connected Energy is at the forefront of the development of a technological and commercial solution by turning EV batteries into its E-STOR battery energy storage systems (BESS). E-STOR is increasingly used in the UK and Europe to help overcome local grid limitations, with applications including powering EV charging hubs and capturing energy generated from renewable sources.
To support its growth into these markets, Connected Energy has appointed Alex Charr as head of strategic partnerships (batteries). Mr Charr will build relationships with automotive OEMs, vehicle providers and fleet operators to create sources of second life batteries. He will also develop ‘battery-as-a-service’ business models with financial institutions.
Connected Energy, whose investors include Caterpillar and Volvo Energy, already has a partnership with Renault which supplies batteries from Kangoo electric vans. By repurposing batteries at the end of the life in a vehicle, the company’s battery storage technology doubles the working life of the EV batteries.
‘There is a genuine circularity to our business model,’ says Mr Charr. ‘For example, fleets could be using batteries from their old EVs as energy storage in their depots, supporting the charging of their current vehicles. It’s a perfect loop.’
Originally from Paris, Alex has had a distinguished career in automotive engineering and product management, working for Renault, Stellantis, Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover. Most recently he was innovation project manager then global business development manager for commercial EV manufacturer, Arrival.
Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy, said: ‘We are working at the nexus of transport and energy, creating sustainable energy storage solutions that reuse the batteries from yesterday’s EVs to charge today’s electric fleets. We need people who understand all aspects of those sectors to help our business continue on its current growth trajectory.
‘Alex has a deep understanding of the e-mobility market and a great track record in innovation. He has the knowledge and experience to help us grow our battery pipeline as demand increases for our products.’