Car News

Chevrolet Volt Battery Cases Make Ducks Feel at Home

RELATED READING
See all Chevrolet Volt articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader March 2011

To most people, the idea of recycling conjures up images of melting down old plastic bottles and molding them into new plastic things. To John Bradburn, manager of waste-reduction efforts for GM, recycling has a much broader definition – like turning leftover electric car parts into houses for Wood Ducks.

Bradburn has been coming up with out-of-the-box ideas for reducing waste from GM factories for more than 15 years. Thanks in part to his efforts, GM says it has stopped over one million tons of waste from piling up in landfills during that time. 

In fact, under GM’s “landfill free” factory program Bradburn began experimenting with ways to combine his love for outdoor conservation and recycling years ago by taking transmission packaging materials and turning them into bird houses.

“Wrens, Chickadees and that sort of thing loved them,” said Bradburn. “We actually had our Boy Scout Troop make up a bunch of houses from the scrap transmission cones, and then we took that money [from sales] and donated it to charity.”

His latest wildlife conservation effort came when he and his team realized that the battery cases for the electric plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt were about the same size as would be needed for either squirrel, waterfowl or screech owl houses. 

As with all manufacturing processes, sometimes parts reach the line that can’t be used in the final product due to manufacturing defects. With the large number of Volts that GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant is producing, unusable battery cases that didn’t pass inspection began stacking up.

“One of the challenges for the Chevrolet Volt was to find a recycling option for the battery cover itself,” said Bradburn. “The case shape and size was very similar to Wood Duck or waterfowl nest boxes.” The first box his team built from a Volt battery case was actually intended to be a squirrel house, but it attracted a Hooded Merganser instead – which gave him the idea to expand the program.

Initially Bradburn made the Wood Duck battery case homes as part of another Boy Scout project last year and placed several of them up at various GM facilities to help wildlife gain a foothold. Just recently, more of the cases also became part of an after school project for Detroit-area youth at the city-run Lasky Recreation Center. 

By teaching kids about Wood Duck nesting habits, providing habitat for wildlife, and keeping car parts out of the landfill, Bradburn thinks this type of project is an all-around winner, saying it’s a “great example” of finding an alternative use for the waste GM produces every day in its factories.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Chevrolet Volt Battery Cases Make Ducks Feel at Home - Autotrader