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Old Chevy Volt Batteries Are Powering GM’s New IT Building

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Used Chevrolet Volt batteries are helping keep the lights on at the new GM Enterprise Data Center

Used Chevrolet Volt batteries are helping keep the lights on at the new GM Enterprise Data Center

Death is always an uncomfortable topic to discuss, but there is always the comforting possibility of finding a new purpose in the afterlife. At least, there is for dead Chevy Volt batteries.

According to General Motors, when the useful life of a Volt’s battery is done, it has the chance to be reincarnated as an energy source at the new GM Enterprise Data Center in Milford, Michigan, where five Volt batteries are currently helping to keep the lights on in the center’s administrative offices. The batteries are working in conjunction with a new solar array and two wind turbines to deliver net-zero energy use on an annual basis.

“Even after the battery has reached the end of its useful life in a Chevrolet Volt, up to 80 percent of its storage capacity remains,” said Pablo Valencia, senior manager of Battery Life Cycle Management. “This secondary use application extends its life, while delivering waste reduction and economic benefits on an industrial scale.”

GM put together this nifty infographic to illustrate how the batteries are put to use:

Used Chevy Volt batteries infographic

Related info: Another Chevy Volt Price Drop Makes EV More Affordable than Ever

In the event of a power outage, the Volt batteries are also capable of providing back-up power to the building for four hours.

The hope is that reusing electric car batteries could become its own industry, which would provide a great alternative to the current negative environmental impact caused by simply disposing of EV batteries.

“This system is ideal for commercial use because a business can derive full functionality from an existing battery while reducing upfront costs through this reuse,” Valencia said.

Related info: Chevy Malibu Hybrid Powertrain Derived from the Volt