Tokyo, Japan – Toyota has launched a new program to recycle the nickel in used nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries from hybrid vehicles to use in new NiMH batteries. The company said that the program, which will be launched in Japan in cooperation with partners, is the first of its kind worldwide.
Previously, NiMH batteries recovered by car dealers and vehicle dismantlers were subjected to reduction treatment, with scrap containing nickel recycled as a raw material for the manufacture of stainless steel. With the development of high-precision nickel sorting and extraction technology, materials can be introduced directly into the nickel refining process, achieving “battery-to-battery” recycling.
Toyota has established a call centre to help recover the batteries. It has also constructed advanced recycling facilities designed for mass production in cooperation with Toyota Chemical Engineering, and is receiving support from Sumitomo Metal Mining in refining the nickel, and Primearth EV Energy Company for quality assurance in battery manufacture.
Toyota said it is currently investigating introducing the recycling system in other markets.