Starting in May, Husqvarna will offer homeowners in Stockholm, Sweden, the ability to access pay-per-use power tools for the garden, eliminating the need to maintain and store hedge trimmers, chain saws and other tools that are used less frequently. The project is a pilot, and part of Husqvarna’s commitment to explore innovative and sustainable solutions for taking care of gardens and green spaces.
The Husqvarna Battery Box is a “smart,” 8×3-meter, unattended container with 30 electronic lockers that store battery-powered garden care products. Via an iPhone app, homeowners will be able to reserve tools, get instructions, pay, and open the locker to pick up their pre-booked power tool. The “box” will be placed at Bromma Blocks, a shopping center located 15 minutes west of Stockholm city. Renting a garden care product will cost 350 SEK a day (approximately 35 Euros or 38 USD).
“People are already sharing homes and cars,” said Pavel Hajman, president of the Husqvarna division. “To share products that are only used occasionally, like a hedge trimmer, makes a lot of sense for some users. Husqvarna Battery Box is proof of our commitment to explore new solutions that merge innovation and sustainability, benefitting the homeowner, the community and our distribution network.”
Sustainability and innovation put to the test
This pilot project supports Husqvarna’s sustainability agenda to drive the conversion from petrol-powered products to silent battery products with no direct emissions in urban areas. Additionally, the purpose is also to test the real-world applications of this technical solution, as well as collect insights on market maturity, customer behavior, and potential future revenue streams for Husqvarna’s distribution network. The test period will run May 1-Oct. 31, 2017.
After completing registration in the iPhone app (also called “Husqvarna Battery Box”), the customer can reserve one of the 30 available battery-powered products (chain saw, hedge trimmer, trimmer or blower). The app guides the user on how to open and close the door to the particular locker where the product they want to rent is kept. The app also includes “how-to films” to explain how the product works. The Box, powered by solar cells, will be serviced by Husqvarna staff daily, ensuring that products are in good condition and that the batteries are fully charged.
The connection between the Husqvarna Battery Box and the customer is enabled via Bluetooth. For identification purposes, the customer uses the Swedish ID app “BankID.” Payments are charged to the registered credit card at the end of the month. During the pilot period, the app is only available on iOS.
Powerful and silent products in the box
From a performance perspective, the battery products in the box are equivalent to the petrol versions of comparable size, but without the noise and direct emissions. The battery series in the box is powered by a 36-volt Li-ion battery, and one battery fits all products in the box (chain saw, hedge trimmer, blower, trimmer).
Project partners and set-up
Husqvarna Battery Box is the result of a partnership that includes Telenor Connexion, Flex, Zuora and HiQ. Flex built the connected box and will report its status on events handled through a cloud solution with Telenor Connexion. Zuora will supply the subscription payment solution, and HiQ built the app and the system needed to bring everything together. The shopping center Bromma Blocks is providing the space for the test.