What Are We Building?
A low cost, portable, Lithium-Ion battery pack that can be endlessly replenished! At Totus Power, my team and I are building such a device (christened Jupiter6) from used electric vehicle (EV) batteries. These batteries still have sufficient capacity after their automotive life, but are now prematurely recycled. Our short term objective is to enable solar power access for families and schools in low-income communities in developing countries. Each unit of Jupiter6 charges via solar panels, or an AC adapter and can power many phones, tablets and lamps (Capacity: 300 Wh), replacing toxic lead acid batteries or kerosene lamps. Jupiter6 works like Lego, with the used EV battery and control electronics in separate sections that snap together. Thereby exhausted batteries can be easily replaced, and returned for recycling.
Along with our partners we are piloting a full operational model that aims to comply with all current and future recycling regulations. Our long term objective is to make this knowledge freely available and facilitate the reuse of these batteries in social impact projects worldwide, maximizing the value of used electric car batteries from all manufacturers. Product stage: Pre-production prototype under development for field trials;
Update: After working on this since 2013, I sadly announce that we have retired the idea behind Totus Power. We concluded that it just isn’t commercially viable to reuse old EV batteries in developing countries. The full analysis is available on – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/economic-unviability-reusing-old-electric-vehicle-rajendran/. Thanks for your interest. Regards, Siva Rajendran (Former CEO and Founder of Totus Power).