Albany Engineered Composites (AEC) is teaming with automotive engineering and consulting company Ricardo to provide lightweight components to the automotive industry. AEC produces composites for the aerospace industry, and having proven themselves in that field, they show promise for helping automakers make their cars lighter and more efficient without sacrificing structural integrity. "The agreement announced today is excellent news for our global automotive customers as we work to find further weight reductions in vehicles to meet future CO2 reductions," says Ricardo CEO Mark Garrett. With carbon composite prices expected to drop, Garrett believes this is an "attractive solution" for structural components. Read more at Ricardo's website.
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) wants to recover all of its hybrid batteries for remanufacturing. TME currently recovers 91 percent of Toyota and Lexus batteries at the end of the vehicles' lives through dealerships, and is now working with independent end-of-life vehicle treatment operators to recover the rest. Beyond just being recycled, Toyota is looking into remanufacturing batteries for other vehicles or for stationary energy storage systems. Read more in the press release below.
Fast Company Magazine has recognized Toyota as one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2015 for its Mirai fuel cell sedan. "Toyota plans to do for fuel cells what its Prius did for hybrids: make them ubiquitous and top of mind for environmentally conscious consumers," says Fast Company. The article also notes that Toyota has also made its fuel cell patent public and invested in hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Toyota is ranked number 18 in the Most Innovative list, just below Tesla. Read more at Fast Company.
- With 91% of its hybrid batteries being successfully collected through its own retail network, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) is now extending collection to independent end-of-life vehicle (ELV) treatment operators
- TME aims to collect 100% of Toyota and Lexus customers' used hybrid batteries, both through its own network and any authorised ELV operator across Europe
- As part of its plans to realise this ambitious objective, TME has extended until March 31, 2018 the current battery recycling agreements with France-based Société Nouvelle d'Affinage des Métaux (SNAM) and Belgium-based Umicore N.V., responsible for the European-wide take back and sustainable recycling of nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) and Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in Europe, respectively
Brussels, Belgium – Hybrid batteries can generally outlast the vehicle life. These are therefore usually only recovered at the end of the vehicle life or in case of an accident. TME has built up years of experience running an internal collection process with Toyota and Lexus retailers/repairers through a reverse logistics mechanism. Toyota and Lexus dealers receive a new hybrid battery in return for giving back the old one, leading to an average 91% collection rate.
Now TME is stepping up efforts to drastically increase the volumes of collected used hybrid batteries. It set itself the challenging target of aiming to collect 100% of the batteries, coming from both its own network and from any authorised ELV treatment operators across the whole of Europe.
That is why the company announces today the extension, until March 31, 2018, of the current battery recycling agreements:
1. Since 1 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 20 August 2012 Belgium-based Umicore N.V. 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, says "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 continues "This is yet another reason for a hybrid purchase. We ensure customers that their car excels in environmental performance during its entire lifecycle, giving customers another good reason to fall in love with hybrid."
"Today used hybrid batteries are still mainly destined for recycling", adds Steve Hope. "However, TME has started to research the different options for the remanufacturing of NiMh batteries." Solutions include giving those batteries a second life as vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-stationary energy source.
Since 2000, around 850,000 Toyota and Lexus full hybrid vehicles have been sold in Europe. A cornerstone in Toyota's environmental approach is the protection of natural resources, making sustainable recycling of high voltage batteries a key priority.