Rivian has only showed off early versions of itsSUV and pickup, but the company has not been shy about dishing deets regarding what’s under the hood. We already know , and its tech is clearly appealing enough to pull in some major investors like and . Now, we have an idea of what Rivian wants to do with its batteries once they’re no longer usable in its vehicles.
Rivian announced this week that it has teamed up with the Honnold Foundation, which funds solar power initiatives, for a future project that will use Rivian’s “second-life” batteries, also known as a used EV battery that’s already done its time in an electric vehicle. The project will see these batteries as gateways to energy independence and renewable power generation, and it’ll kick off in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico.
Using the 135-kilowatt-hour battery packs from its development vehicles, Rivian will take these batteries and move them into small modules that can collect power from solar panels or other sources, reducing reliance on the grid. More specifically, Rivian’s first project will provide power for businesses in Adjuntas’ town square, in conjunction with a small solar “microgrid.” According to Rivian’s release, Puerto Rico’s commercial energy costs are twice that of the national average, so it’s clear why this is a good place to start.
“Second-life batteries are a big enabler to accelerating widespread adoption of renewable energy, and it’s exciting to envision this system contributing importantly to a community,” said Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe in a statement. “This project allows us to model a customized energy storage solution that takes into account space constraints, disaster resiliency and energy independence.”
Rivian claims its batteries, from the pack to the management system, are designed with second-life use in mind, making it easier to rip ’em out of a car and slap ’em into the grid. The automaker expects this project to kick off in earnest in 2020.