Nissan makes the most of second life batteries since they can now be reused to move an automated vehicle inside a factory to support workers. This enables these robotic vehicles known as AGVs to have a longer life and faster charging.
In most factories AGVs have become essential like Nissan’s factory in Oppama, south of Tokyo. There are over 700 AGVs there and if included all Nissan factories around the world are counted more than 4,000 AGVs where help build vehicles.
Nissan has explored new ways to reuse the batteries of Nissan LEAF, the mass-produced electric vehicle that has led the company’s journey towards zero emissions since 2010. The first generation Leaf had a relatively small battery from 24kWh and eight years ago Nissan engineers were able to adapt the battery arrays to an AGV.
The whole idea has evolved and now the company is using second life batteries instead of new ones to power automated AGV vehicles. Thi charge faster now while workers don’t have to take out the batteries to connect them. AGVs simply stop momentarily at the charging station along their route and increase their power gradually at each crossing.
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Another great advantage that Nissan second life batteries have is the lifespan since they can now last up to 8 years compared to the lead acid batteries where they had to be replaced every two years. All this puts another stone in environmental protection and another step towards carbon neutrality.
AGVs have not yet evolved because each machine is connected to the magnetic path specified for it in a factory. But Nissan wants to change that to give them more freedom of movement based on sensors and special programs.