European stadiums to be powered by old car batteries

Several European football stadiums are “interested” in powering their facilities with second-hand car batteries following talks with US industrial conglomerate Eaton.

The New York-listed firm, which makes hydraulics, truck transmissions and other industrial products, also uses old Nissan electric vehicle batteries to power buildings.

The company takes the cells from the batteries of Nissan’s returned Leaf electric cars and repurposes them into a product called xStorage, which stores power in buildings, both industrial and residential.

Eaton has already equipped the Netherlands’ Johan Cruyff Arena, home of the Eredivisie club Ajax, with what it calls “second-life batteries.” Most recently, the firm has worked at Oslo’s Bislett athletics stadium (pictured) in Norway to install the new power units.

Eaton’s senior-vice president Craig McDonnell said in an interview on the sidelines of a presentation at Bislett stadium, according to Reuters: “The football stadium community is interested. From significant ones, (we are talking) with 5-6 stadiums in Europe.”

The repurposing of electric car batteries is becoming a growing concern as the market for such vehicles is expanding. Some 1.5 per cent of the 86 million cars sold last year were electric, according to research from JATO Dynamics.

Eaton expects the niche market to grow up to 20 times between now and 2022, with the potential market value to be $2.3bn (£1.8bn/€2bn) by 2025 in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Image: Kjetil Ree