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 4 years of work, I sadly announce that we will be retiring the idea behind Totus Power. We concluded that it just isn’t commercially viable to reuse old EV batteries in developing countries. I’m making our key learnings publicly and freely available. This is in the form of a 1 pager, available on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TotusPower/). Besides this report, our technical assets including detailed performance analysis of used Nissan Leaf and BMW Mini-E modules, used EV batteries, testing equipment and schematics are available for purchase. Should this be of interest, please feel free to get in touch with me – firstname.lastname@example.org