American lithium-ion battery producer EnerDel has joined forces with the Japanese industrial trading company Itochu to unveil a new automotive-to-smart grid integration project in Japan.

EnerDel claims that it is supplying the advanced battery systems at the heart of the project, marking the first time that EVs, stationary grid storage, solar power and rapid re-charging infrastructure are combined in a real-world operating environment.

The project – located outside Tokyo in Tsukuba city, Japan – serves as an exhibition for an advanced direct current rapid recharge system, as well as a secondary use model for fixed in-vehicle batteries.

The project is designed to showcase the afterlife batteries can have in stationary grid applications once they are cycled through their useful vehicular lifespan, where operating parameters are much less taxing.

Charles Gassenheimer, chairman and CEO of EnerDel, said: “The integration of rapid charging, smart grid and electric vehicles is a crucial step in the transition to clean, efficient, low-carbon energy and transportation systems, and something that countries all over the world are moving toward. This project also demonstrates how critical a secondary-use strategy is in unlocking economic value that becomes a key driver for the EV battery industry.”

The project uses a 24kWh fixed storage EnerDel battery pack, originally designed for the Think City electric vehicle, to demonstrate that automotive systems can be used in stationary applications without major modification.