Volvo bus batteries given second life

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 old ones still have considerable capacity left to offer.

This capacity is too limited to efficiently propel a bus, but it is more than sufficient for static use for energy storage purposes. Repurposing the batteries means that natural resources can be conserved since it is not necessary to use new batteries for energy storage.

That is the result of a new cooperation between Volvo Buses and Stena Recycling subsidiary Batteryloop. After the batteries are removed from Volvo’s buses, they are reused as energy storage units for a number of years, for instance in buildings and charging stations.

The new recently signed agreement covers all batteries in electric Volvo buses globally. To date, most of these buses are found in Europe, but Volvo says the number of its electrified buses is expected to increase in other parts of the world too.

“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,” explains Håkan Agnevall, president of Volvo Buses.

The demand for local energy storage units is expected to increase in the future. Not least, an energy storage unit offers new scope for storing renewable energy, which can be used to meet peaks in electricity demand. Any surplus can be sold, delivered straight into the grid.

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. The electricity that is stored in these units comes from solar panels fitted to the apartment buildings’ rooftops.