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, respectively .
Hybrid batteries can often 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 has set 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.
Currently used hybrid batteries are still mainly destined for recycling but 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 sources.
Since 2000, around 850,000 Toyota and Lexus full hybrid vehicles have been sold in Europe.