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:
Its not an awful lot of material
(Prius battery is 90 lbs)
The batteries last a long time --
most last the life of the car.
The most common technology (NiMH)
does not use very toxic materials.
Aggressive recycling programs recover a very high percentage of the batteries, and the materials in the battery are recycled at a very high rate.
This is from a post on www.cleanmpg.com forum:
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:
Gary May 28, 2009