SECOND LIFE FOR ELECTRIC BUS BATTERIES IN SWEDEN
Volvo Bus is participating in a research project where Volvo Buses, Göteborg Energi, Riksbyggen and Johanneberg Science Park are working together to examine electricity storage in apartment blocks that have their own electricity production via solar panels. Volvo Bus is supplying the batteries for this project. It are the used batteries from the very first Volvo electric buses operating since 2015 in Swedish Gothenburg.
Volvo states it is the inauguration of probably Europe’s first ever energy warehouse using electric bus batteries. There are several energy storage projects under way, like in the UK were at the beginning of this year, two battery storage systems went into operation which add up to 50MW of energy storage. New is that this Swedish project is using batteries from an electric bus, which was operating at route 55 in Gothenburg, Sweden, to store energy from solarpanels of a brand new housing project. The research is taking place in Riksbyggen’s Viva housing cooperative in Gothenburg, an apartment complex that aims to be Sweden’s most innovative and sustainable housing project – Positive Footprint Housing. Tenants are just starting to move into their new apartments.
The energy warehouse is used to cut the property’s power consumption peaks, and to store or sell surplus solar energy. It can also be used to buy and store electricity from the national grid when it is cheap and green, for later use. The battery warehouse consists of 14 used lithium-ion electric bus batteries. They are installed in a battery chamber and linked together to create a 200 kWh storage pack. “We know that electric bus batteries have good potential for other applications such as energy storage after the end of their life in public transport. What we are examining here is exactly how good that potential is. Use of the batteries in an energy warehouse gives them an extended service life which in turn means better resource utilisation and less environmental impact,” says Ylva Olofsson, Project Coordinator at Volvo.
The research on energy storage in used bus batteries is done with support from the EU project IRIS Smart Cities. IRIS is a Light House project, financed by EU HORIZON 2020. Volvo believes the reuse and recycling of batteries can be a key issue for cities to go ahead with transition to electrically powered transport.