Toyota wants to continue to increase its already high rate of battery recycling with hybrid vehicles.
Hybrid batteries can generally outlast a vehicle’s life. These are therefore usually only recovered at the end of vehicle life, or in the case of an accident. Toyota has said it has built up years of experience running a collection process through Toyota and Lexus retailers with a reverse logistics mechanism. Dealers receive a new hybrid battery in return for giving back the old one, leading to the company’s average 91 per cent collection rate.
Now Toyota is stepping up efforts to further increase the volumes of collected used hybrid batteries, setting itself the target of aiming to collect 100 per cent of the batteries coming from its own network and from any authorised ELV battery treatment operators across the whole of Europe. That is why the company has announced the extension until March 31, 2018, of current battery agreements:
1. Since July 2011, France-based Société Nouvelle d’Affinage des Métaux (SNAM) has been taking back and recycling nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) batteries in Europe (installed in the Prius, Auris Hybrid, Auris Hybrid Touring Sports, Yaris Hybrid and all Lexus hybrids).
2. Since August 20, 2012, Belgium-based Umicore NV has been taking back and recycling Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in Europe (installed in Toyota’s Prius+ and Prius Plug-in).
Steve Hope, General Manager TME Environment Affairs, has said: “When our customers buy a hybrid, they already know that they are in for outstanding fuel efficiency, a stress free driving experience and a reliable car.”
He continued: “This is yet another reason for a hybrid purchase. We ensure customers that their car excels in environmental performance during its entire life- cycle, giving customers another good reason to fall in love with hybrid.”
“Today used hybrid batteries are still mainly destined for recycling,” added Hope. “However, TME has started to research the different options for the re-manufacturing of NiMh batteries.”
Solutions include giving those batteries a second life as vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-stationary energy source.