Toyota has helped install an array of 208 repurposed nickel-metal hydride batteries from Camry Hybrids to power the Lamar Buffalo Ranch at Yellowstone National Park. The system can store 85 kilowatt-hours of energy at a time.
For companies such as Johnson Controls, Inc., there are opportunities to be had supplying advanced batteries for hybrids and electric vehicles. But where do all those advanced lithium batteries – and the older ones being pulled out today's hybrids – end up? Regulators, environmentalists and media want to know. With that in mind, opening a new battery recycling facility can be a smart move.
The supply of rare earth metals used in the manufacture of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries and permanent magnet motors that are found in most hybrids has been somewhat uncertain the past few years, what with China's lock on the supply and its recent policy of limiting exports. While there are a number of possible solutions and workarounds, Honda is tackling the problem using an approach we can heartily endorse: recycling.
John Peterson, a man whose anti-lithium battery ramblings typically stir up a heated debate, is back at it again. This time 'round, Peterson discusses the future of recycling, or the lack thereof, for lithium-ion batteries. In an article posted on Alt Energy Stocks, Peterson writes:
What happens with spent nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries that can no longer power hybrid vehicles down the road? Well, until recently, most NiMH batteries recovered by car dealers or vehicle dismantling companies were shipped off for reduction treatment, a process which involves crushing and sorting materials found within the battery. The extracted nickel headed for stainless-steel production sites where it was used to make components like exhaust systems and everyday household items such a
Electric vehicle batteries don't last forever. Sure, they can be charged up, drained and charged again, but at some point they just won't get the job done anymore. Automakers estimate that advanced batteries will provide about ten years of serviceable life in vehicles. So what happens to that hunk of lithium in your vehicle after it's retired from the intended duties? It gets a second chance in one of several industries lining up to spring new life into that old battery.
According to a report from the Nikkei in Japan (via Hybrid Cars), Nippon Mining & Metals Co. and GS Yuasa Corp. are each planning to begin collecting used lithium ion batteries from hybrid and electric cars to be recycled. Apparently, it's not exactly a straightforward process to extract and process the lithium buried deep inside individual battery cells, but both companies are working on the technology.