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Boy Scout Builds Homes for Bats with Chevy Volt Battery Covers

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A Boy Scout from Clarkston, Michigan, Matthew Netherland, recently completed an Eagle Scout project that involved building homes for bats with Chevy Volt battery covers. While the idea sounds complex, it is green in more than one way—recycling parts for an electric vehicle to construct homes for animals.

Netherland builds Homes for Bats with Chevy Volt Battery Covers

L to R: Rich Castle (Consumers Energy), Eagle Scout Matthew Netherland, and Emily McDonald (GM) with the bat boxes. Photo: Consumers Energy. License: CC

Rich Castle, natural resource manager for hydro generation, Consumers Energy, explained the project’s depths in greater detail: “This project connects a lot of environmental dots. Hydro dams generate clean electricity, and cars that run on electricity are a cleaner form of transportation. The battery covers from the electric-powered vehicles are being kept out of landfills, and by being utilized as bat homes they allow biodiversity to thrive along the river habitats that produce renewable energy.”

In total, Netherland and some helpers were able to construct 22 homes for bats with Chevy Volt battery covers. These bat boxes were made possible with donations by General Motors and will be installed on Consumers Energy property. While 22 boxes doesn’t sound like much, more than 100 bats can live inside each one, meaning that Netherland has provided homes for more than 2,200 bats.

Homes for Bats with Chevy Volt Battery Covers

In total, 22 boxes were built, providing homes for up to 2,200 bats.

“I’m thankful that GM had the perfect shell for the bat box plans, and that Consumers Energy has great locations to place the boxes,” said Netherland. “Both companies have been great to work with, very encouraging and generous.”

GM is no stranger to these bat boxes. In total, the automaker has built more than 520 wood duck, bat, and bluebird nesting boxes from recycled Volt battery covers.

“I’m so impressed by Matthew’s energy and dedication to this project,” commented Emily McDonald, the environmental engineer for GM who worked with Netherland on his project. “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. The Volt covers are made with durable material and will result in wildlife nesting opportunities for a long time.”