Volvo Buses aims to give its e-bus batteries a second life. In cooperation with Stena Property and Stena Recycling, the company will use its electric bus batteries as stationary energy storage in the Fyrklövern complex in Gothenburg.
In the residential complex belonging to Stena Property, solar cells installed on the buildings’ roofs will recharge the reused electric bus batteries. The electricity will then power the site’s exterior lighting, for example, but also communal areas such as the washing cellar.
As soon as the capacity of the batteries is no longer sufficient for these tasks, they are to be recycled by Stena Recycling or its subsidiary BatteryLoop. For Volvo Buses, the project is “a step towards a circular economy in electromobility creating new commercial possibilities for companies. Reuse of the batteries from our buses gives them a second life, allowing us to use resources in a better way while at the same time reducing our climate impact,” says Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Buses. It is worth developing this new business together with the two partners.
According to Agnevall, this will also create another commercial incentive for electric buses, “since the application area for bus batteries is expanded”. In other words, the bus owner can generate further sales from the resale of the battery at the end of its service life – or the battery becomes cheaper right from the start because “Second Life” use has already been factored into the business model.
Volvo Buses had already started a similar project in Gothenburg at the end of 2018. According to Volvo Buses, the project in the Viva residential area won several awards, including the Swedish Green Building Award 2019 for the environmental building of the year.
Meanwhile, the Dutch supplier Alfen reports on another stationary application for electric car batteries. It has received an order from energy supplier Greener for 30 new mobile battery storage systems to provide an alternative for diesel generators at events in cities, at festivals, on construction sites and in shipping. Each of the mobile storage systems has a capacity of 338 kWh based on BMW i3 batteries.
Alfen delivered its first mobile storage system to Greener in 2018. During the summer of 2019, another 12 systems were supplied to allow for further scale-up and broader roll-out. International festivals and events such as Awakenings (Netherlands), Tomorrowland (Belgium) and Winter Wonderland (UK) were supplied with green battery power.