Toxic Hybrid Batteries

Every once in a while, you see an internet post or item stating that batteries from hybrids are creating a lot of problems due to lack of recycling and toxic materials used in the batteries.  This just does not appear to be true at all  -- see info below:



The bottom line appears to be:

This is from a post on forum:

Toyota’s NiMH recycling program in detail

Originally Posted by Bill Kwong

To ensure that hybrid batteries are returned to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information. Salvage companies that want to get a battery recycled can present it to any Toyota dealer and receive a $150 core reward.

Toyota has been recycling NiMH batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case and the wiring, are recycled or processed for disposal.

At the recycler, the battery modules are separated from the wire harness, controller and metal shell (all common materials that are recycled).

Using a first generation Prius battery as an example:
  • After the above mentioned parts are removed, there are 89 pounds of batteries.
  • The plates are removed from the cases leaving 11 pounds of plastic cases and 78 pounds of plates/chemicals/and absorbent materials.
  • The plastic cases (Polypropylene) are recycled similar to any other consumer plastic.
  • Of the remaining 78 pounds, we extract 32 pounds of nickel that is sold into the steel industry as an alloy to make stainless steel, four pounds of cobalt that is used in a variety of industries -- other batteries and super alloys, and five pounds of common alloy steel (terminals and intercell connectors).
  • The remaining materials and chemicals are processed for recycling or disposed in an environmentally friendly fashion following local, state, and federal regulations.




More on battery toxicity:







Gary May 28, 2009