Volvo and Stena Recycling subsidiary Batteryloop of Sweden are working together to refurbish batteries from electric buses. After the batteries are removed from Volvo’s buses, they can be reused as energy storage units in buildings and charging stations for a number of years.
‘In our electromobility operation we are creating a new circular business cycle and this cooperation is truly a major step in the right direction,’ says Håkan Agnevall, president of Volvo Buses.
Bus batteries are used for many years in regular traffic before they need to be replaced. However, when new batteries are fitted to the vehicle, the replaced ones retain considerable capacity. This capacity is not efficient enough to drive a bus but is more than adequate for energy storage.
‘We are delighted and proud that Batteryloop has the opportunity to buy the used batteries and develop this solution together with Volvo Buses,’ adds Rasmus Bergström, president of Batteryloop. ‘In addition to reuse, we also guarantee safe and environmentally suitable recycling when the batteries come to the end of their second life as energy storage units.’
More e-buses on the road
The recently signed agreement has a global reach and covers all electric buses for which Volvo Buses is responsible. To date, most electrified buses are in Europe but the number on other continents is expected to increase, says Volvo. ‘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,’ Agnevall explains.
Energy storage to rise
The demand for local energy storage units is also expected to grow. They offer fresh scope for storing renewable energy, which can be used to meet peaks in electricity demand. Surplus energy can be sold and delivered straight into the grid.
An energy storage unit is therefore like a large power bank that gives the user considerable flexibility and can generate income. ‘We see a fast-growing market in different kinds of properties and also as charging stations for electric vehicles both in industry and in society,’ says Bergström. ‘Our cooperation with Volvo Buses will provide a valuable contribution to the development of the infrastructure that needs to be built up.’
Batteryloop and Volvo Buses have already previously been involved in a joint project with Stena Fastigheter, whereby bus batteries are used as energy storage units to provide electricity to the Fyrklövern residential area in Gothenburg. Electricity stored in these units comes from roof-top solar panels.
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