Getting “batty” with battery covers

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It’s not every day you get word of vehicle parts being recycled into houses for bats – yes, BATS – but that’s exactly what Eagle Scout Matthew Netherland did with scrap Chevrolet Volt battery box covers donated by General Motors.

For an Eagle Scout project, Netherland (standing in the middle in photo at right) – from Boy Scout Troop 185 from Clarkston, MI –  one of his friends and two adult mentors built about 30 such “bat houses” out of those scrap battery covers in about two months’ time. Generally, about 100 or so bats are able to live in each five-chambered “home” crafted from those scrap car parts.

Emily McDonald, an environmental engineer with GM who coordinated with Netherland on his project, noted that reusing battery covers this way keeps them out of landfills, while their use as bat homes allows “biodiversity” to thrive along the river habitats where they’ll be placed.

[Utility company Consumers Energy is also contributing to Netherland’s project by installing 22 of his “bat boxes” at various locations within its service area. And if you don’t think bats are important from an ecological perspective, check out the video below.]

"We've worked with renowned bat experts on our bat house design and are grateful that we can partner with others who share our passion for conservation and will help us make a lasting impact,” McDonald noted. “The Volt battery covers are made with durable material and will result in wildlife nesting opportunities for a long time."

She added that GM has built more than 520 wood duck, bat and bluebird nesting boxes from Volt battery covers, with many peppered throughout the grounds at various company facilities.

Certainly gives new meaning to the phrase "going batty" now doesn't it?

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