Audi Reuses EV Batteries in Factory Forklifts

Audi’s Ingolstadt factory reuses second-hand lithium-ion batteries on their factory forklifts and tugs.

The race to create effective electric vehicles has unexpected consequences. Automakers around the globe are on the hook in many jurisdictions to take back and properly reuse or recycle all of their electric vehicle batteries. This has created a secondary industry for recycling and reusing depleted batteries. Manufacturers are using a variety of creative approaches including using them in new charging stations, selling them to wind farms, and installing them on the roofs of solar-powered apartment complexes.

Audi is installing them on forklifts and the tugs inside its primary factory in Ingolstadt, Germany. The tugs, similar to the versions that pull baggage trains at airports, are normally equipped with heavy trays of lead-acid batteries. The new program sees 24 of the Audi e-tron electric car battery modules to supply the tugs and forklifts between 30 and 50 kWh of capacity, depending on how the condition of the battery cells. The new batteries improve the performance of the machines by decreasing charging difficulties and allowing them to maintain a constant speed while climbing ramps in the factory.

Audi estimates that reusing e-tron batteries in vehicles throughout its 16 factories could save millions of dollars in addition to safely reusing EV batteries.

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