Volvo Buses is providing the batteries from its electric buses with a second life as stationary storage on a large scale. Following individual pilot projects, Volvo Buses has now concluded an agreement with Batteryloop, that covers all batteries for the manufacturer’s electric buses worldwide.
Batteryloop is a subsidiary of Stena Recycling that also guarantees to recycle once the batteries have spent two lives in Volvo buses and as stationary energy storage. The cooperation that has now gone global goes back to previous projects. Batteryloop already runs a second-life project with batteries from Volvo Buses in Gothenburg as reported.
In said residential complex belonging to Stena Property, solar cells installed on the buildings’ roofs recharge the reused electric bus batteries. The electricity then powers the site’s exterior lighting, for example, but also communal areas such as the washing cellar.
The current statement to the press does not mention concrete projects. Still, the partners stress “the new recently signed agreement has a global reach,” and as such “covers all the batteries for which Volvo Buses is responsible in its electric buses the world over.” Indeed Volvo Buses keeps delivering hybrid and electric buses to primarily European cities and region but with a global outlook.
In other words, this is huge or has the potential to become so. Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Buses, said that the cooperation was “truly a major step in the right direction”. He added, “We see a steadily increasing demand for electric buses from cities all over the world, and since we entered the electric bus market early, the numbers of used batteries are set to increase.”
Rasmus Bergström, President of Batteryloop, spun the circle further as he explained: “In addition to reuse, under the agreement, we also guarantee safe and environmentally suitable recycling when the batteries come to the end of their second life as energy storage units. We thus offer a sustainable circular solution for Volvo Buses batteries. What is more, this cooperation means we can convert a cost into a source of revenue for the customer.”
The customer means the bus owners for example who 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 secondary reuse has already been factored into the business model. Batteryloop and Volvo Buses have yet to convey further details on pricing or the intricacies of deals and future uses.
According to Batteryloop, the current model sees batteries transported to the domestic Stena Battery Center, where these are analysed for potential reuse, second use into BatteryLoop and finally processed at Stena Recycling.
So far, Stena Recycling operates in six other markets from its base in Sweden. These include all Nordic countries, Germany, Italy and Poland. Stena beholds a network of 190 recycling facilities and says they conduct global trade in raw materials to recycle six million tonnes of waste annually.