Within the first life in our business model, we offer solutions for securing charging infrastructure, as well as monitor and optimize batteries while they are operating in vehicles. The second life, is where we decide what the next step for a battery will be. It includes the possibilities of remanufacturing, refurbishing or recycle. Or the battery can be repurposed to serve a new purpose.
Monitoring the battery while it is still onboard the customers’ vehicle – during its first life - ensures that it operates efficiently and gives us a complete picture of its health. Using a new digital architecture and smart digital solutions, we can leverage the battery data – this is the new oil.
The battery data is invaluable when it comes to deciding the most optimal second-life usage. By continuously learning about the characteristics of the ageing battery, we can build a knowledge bank for optimizing battery use, not only during the battery’s first and second life, but also over its entire life cycle.
To succeed in making a fundamental break-through within electrification, we need to develop charging and infrastructure solutions at home-depot, en route and at the destination. Volvo Energy will be leveraging infrastructure solutions for both battery electric vehicles (BEV) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV).
Today there is already higher demand for chargers than availability. Volvo Energy aim to close this circle. One example is our plans for a European high-performance charging infrastructure.
What about the energy in the chargers along the route? Obviously, we will always strive for green energy.
When the battery has reached the end of its first life in a truck or a bus, we will re-furbish or re-manufacture it, exchanging partly some cells or modules - or all of them - and re-using the pack case and all the electronics. The re-furbished or re-manufactured battery is ready to be placed back on a truck or a bus to extend its life as a spare part.
The used cells or modules - or in some cases the full pack - are now ready for their second life.
At the end of a battery’s second lives, our aim is to make the most resource-efficient use of the battery materials and the energy the battery produces.
It is time for the battery to be carefully recycled. We are working with our partners to develop sustainable recycling solutions for end-of-life batteries. Raw materials, such as lithium, cobalt and nickel, which retain their properties and are still of high quality, will of course be returned to the system for re-use. Once again, we are closing the circle.
There are a number of second life options for batteries, including use as Battery energy storage systems (BESS), which are beneficial to society as a whole. The Volvo Group is working both in partnership - to gain momentum and speed - and inhouse development of ESS. One partnership example is the unique collaboration with the UK-based second-life battery energy storage specialist Connected Energy. By repurposing the batteries that has powered Volvo Group vehicles, we obtain the full value from them – from a climate, environment and business perspective.