Volvo's electric bus batteries to gain a second life in energy storage
As electric vehicles grow in popularity, automakers are paying more attention to what will become of the old batteries once they need replacing. We’ve seen the likes of Nissan and Renault make moves to give these a second life as energy storage devices, and now Volvo has revealed plans to do the same with the help of startup Batteryloop.
Volvo’s electric buses have been doing the rounds in parts of Europe for a few years now, but the batteries currently onboard won’t power them forever. In time, the capacity of these batteries will decline to the point where they can no longer offer the juice the vehicles need, but they still have lots to offer elsewhere.
Repurposing these electric vehicle batteries as energy storage devices can help save on the materials, natural resources and costs involved with building brand new units from scratch. In 2017, Renault entered an agreement with a UK power company to reuse its electric vehicle batteries in energy systems for the home, while Nissan has made similar deals regarding the batteries in its Leaf electric cars.
The new agreement between Volvo and Batteryloop will see all depleted batteries from Volvo buses around the world re-used in places like buildings and charging stations, where they will be expected to offer several years’ more use.
“We are delighted and proud that Batteryloop has the opportunity to buy the used batteries and develop this solution together with Volvo Buses,” says Rasmus Bergström, President of Batteryloop. “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.”