2ndLife Batteries connects to new buyers on EnergyBin.com
Case Study Published 02/03/2022 4 min read

Case Study: 2ndLife Batteries®

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Melissa Ann Schmid melissa@energybin.com

Battery Reseller expands its market by using EnergyBin to reach new customers.

2ndLife Batteries® has been an EnergyBin member since December 2020. 2ndLife is a battery reseller that specializes in offering used lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries that are certified and tested for off-grid and grid-tied renewable energy systems, commercial and industrial demand charge management, and microgrid applications. Before joining EnergyBin, 2ndLife struggled to connect to pre-qualified buyers who trade in reusable solar equipment.

By using EnergyBin, 2ndLife reports the following outcomes:

  • With first sales, saw an ROI many times over the initial investment
  • Decreased market costs as value message effectively reached the ideal audience
  • Made first-time sales to new US-based customers

Struggling to be heard


2ndLife Batteries® is a relatively new company (started in 2017) operating in a relatively new space – the sale of reusable batteries with ample usable capacity that can last three years or more. This concept, along with the secondary market, is slowly gaining traction in the solar industry. Getting the message across that the redeployment of lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries with life left to give is in everyone’s best interest is 2ndLife’s greatest challenge.

“Our moto is ‘More Energy for Less Cost through Knowledge™,” states John Kincaide, President & CEO, “But conveying that second-life batteries are reliable, safe, and highly economically valuable for customers and the environment has been a struggle.”

Over the years, John and his team have exhibited at a number of trade shows where they experienced limited success. They found the audiences in these venues to have a predisposition for new products.

Meanwhile, John purported that, depending on the type, the average second-life battery is about 30-50%/kwh less cost than new batteries. The environmental cost is also less, since batteries aren’t prematurely recycled. Plus, John only sells UL-certified batteries that he and his team have personally tested, which he guarantees with a 3-year limited warranty. The value proposition is certainly one to consider by any solar company installing energy storage systems.

The trade show cost per lead wasn’t attractive, and he couldn’t justify continuing to spend money on something he wasn’t convinced was reaching the right audience.


Connecting with pre-qualified buyers


For John, the experiences of the past five years have been revealing in terms of what works and what doesn’t, particularly when it comes to developing a dedicated cross-border sales channel.

“We need access not just to the solar industry as a whole, but to those within that see reuse as a value proposition for their customers.”

When John discovered EnergyBin, he saw the online community as the best chance to connect with those in the solar industry who believe in the importance of a robust and sustainable secondary market. He thought EnergyBin members would relate to 2ndLife’s message.

“I recognized that EnergyBin overcomes the ‘marketing noise’ that trade shows have, and is an effective tool to target those who already buy and trade in reusable solar equipment.”

John got to work sending broadcasts through the safe trading platform. He listed batteries for sale warehoused in the U.S. and Canada. Unlike new batteries shipped from overseas, 2ndLife’s ability to provide goods today bypasses backlogs and exorbitant logistics costs. In some cases, 2ndLife can offer batteries that were exempt from tariffs because they were made in the U.S. or were imported from China and other countries prior to tariffs taking effect.


EnergyBin pays for itself


It didn’t take long after sending the first broadcasts announcing batteries for sale for John to see results. Shortly after joining EnergyBin, 2ndLife sold some battery systems to new customers in the U.S. These deals paid for the company’s membership to EnergyBin many times over.

In addition to 100% ROI achieved nearly instantly, John was able to reduce his marketing expense by connecting to an audience of buyers who are open to considering reusable products for energy storage applications.

“EnergyBin helps us target the value we offer to those solar companies who are able to make money from what we offer.”

Looking forward, John intends to offer a wider array of batteries for sale to meet growing demand. He views EnergyBin as an integral part of helping 2ndLife advance product development and diversification in 2022 and beyond.

In the long term, John expects to offer 2ndLife systems comprised of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, which can be made using up to five major lithium-ion chemistry types. Generally, three of these types have nickel or cobalt content that help defray recycling costs, while two other types are negative value. One of the negative value types is lithium ferrophosphate (LFP) batteries, which can be expensive to recycle. Redeploying LFP EV or stationary storage batteries as second-life applications could garner enough value to pay future recycling costs. When John is ready to bring these to market, he knows where to list them for sale.

"The EnergyBin membership is low cost yet high value in terms of marketing exposure per dollar.  The EnergyBin exchange platform provides direct access to our ideal customers - solar companies who install energy storage systems.  EnergyBin is a key gateway into the secondary market."


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2ndLife Batteries® was established in 2017 as a spin-off of WeRecycleBatteries.com. At the time, John Kincaide, President & CEO, observed an enormous volume of large format advanced battery recycling inventory still had life to give. The company offers a lower cost alternative and reduced carbon footprint, as second-life batteries produce the same power outcome at significant cost savings compared to new lithium-ion and lead-acid energy storage systems. Since its inception, 2ndLife Batteries® has shipped over 8.5 MWH of batteries, certified and tested, to the U.S., Canada, and western Africa. Besides solar, the company specializes in demand charge management. Utilities in the U.S. can charge up to $30/kw in some markets when power exceeds prescribed kilowatt limits, or time of day, or season, or a combination of all three cases. 2ndLife Batteries’ Jeeves™ ROI Demand Charge Optimizer service uses collected real power data to run thousands of simulations to minimize risk and accurately maximize ROI – before energy storage deployment. Using Jeeves™ ROI Optimizer, customers are confident that they can lower their EV charging and industrial power costs, saving tens of thousands of dollars per year.