Volvo Energy has signed a Letter of Intent with Connected Energy with the ambition to jointly develop a battery energy storage system (BESS). The two companies intend to build BESS with batteries recovered from Volvo electric buses, trucks and machines once they have reached their optimal use in mobile applications. This would create a second life for the batteries, delivering significant environmental and economic benefits.
Matthew Lumsden, CEO of Connected Energy, said: “This is an exciting next step in our existing relationship with Volvo Energy with the potential to enable us to take our technology at scale into the European market. We’re proud to be engaging with Volvo Energy on the development of new second life energy storage solutions.
“In the coming years, the volumes of returning batteries from first life applications will substantially increase. This represents a key opportunity for OEMs like Volvo Group. Together we have the potential to develop and commercialise second life energy storage systems that make electric vehicles (EVs) even more sustainable.”
Battery energy storage systems are increasingly used to store and optimize energy from renewable sources. They are also deployed to provide additional power for both commercial buildings and EV charging hubs in areas where there is not enough grid capacity to support banks of EV chargers. Using second life batteries in these systems substantially reduces their carbon footprint compared to using new batteries, while also transforming EV batteries into longer-term, valuable assets.
Typically, EV batteries still have up to 80% of their original energy storage capacity when they reach the end of their optimal use in a mobile application. Connected Energy has developed technology to harness this remaining capacity and use it effectively in stationary energy storage applications.
Elisabeth Larsson, Senior Vice President Sales & Services from Volvo Energy said: “The Volvo Group is driven by ensuring that every battery that powers our vehicles is used to its full potential, before being recycled. Repurposing the batteries in line with circular economy principles is good for the environment, good for the consumer, and good for the Volvo Group.
“Our ambition for a deepened collaboration with Connected Energy announced today will be a key milestone in our mission to move from a linear business model to a circular one by optimizing the batteries’ full lifecycle whilst creating a product that will enable the transition to a world powered by renewable energy.”
Connected Energy is a leading provider of second-life battery energy storage systems. Its E-STOR system is used in the UK and Europe to support EV charging, optimise renewable energy generation and enable efficient microgrids. Volvo Energy is an investor in Connected Energy, meaning that a potential product development agreement would further strengthen their relationship.
Development of the first prototype system may begin later this year. The containerised systems will feature batteries from Volvo vehicles. Volvo Energy has the ambition to launch the systems on the European market in early 2025.
Volvo Energy has also recently installed Connected Energy’s existing E-STOR technology at its facility in Gothenburg Sweden. The system is being used to test and review its response rate to the Swedish grid.