Old Nissan Leaf Batteries to Power Street Lights | News & Opinion

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Take one old battery, add a solar panel, and enjoy well-lit streets powered by free energy.


Nissan Leaf Batteries The Reborn Light

Electric cars are only going to get more popular as the costs fall and the benefits of emission-free vehicles becomes ever clearer. The batteries that power these vehicles need replacing every few years, but that doesn’t mean they are rendered useless, so Nissan decided to re-purpose them for outdoor lighting.

Nissan needed to do something with the old batteries coming out of its Leaf electric cars. These batteries still work, just not well enough anymore for power hungry vehicles. So the Japanese company came up with a new street light design that works off-grid.

Working with its subsidiary 4R Energy Corporation, Nissan designed a new type of outdoor light that doesn’t require a connection to the main power grid. It’s simply a light, an old Leaf battery, and a solar panel, and it’s called The Reborn Light project.

During the day a solar panel generates power which is then stored in the Leaf battery. At night, you get free light! A prototype of the light is being tested this week in the Japanese town of Namie, which is still recovering from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit the region. Once proven to work, Nissan intends a “full-scale installation” for the town beginning before the end of the financial year.

Such projects are a relatively easy way to reuse components while continuing to reduce emissions. As the number of electric vehicles on our roads increases, so can the number of projects that reuse the batteries. If successful, Nissan’s The Reborn Light project could ultimately see all of Japan’s street lights replaced with off-grid alternatives. Imagine the energy that would save every year…



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