Honda Gives New Life to Used EV Batteries

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One downside to owning a hybrid or electric vehicle is the battery issue.

Proper disposal of the batteries is a head-scratcher, leading people to believe that the vehicles aren’t as environmentally friendly as they seem.

But Japanese automaker Honda found a way to breathe new life into the used batteries.

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Honda is expanding their partnership with French recycling specialist SNAM (Société Nouvelle d’Affinage des Métaux). SNAM mainly focuses on recycling Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel-Metal-Hydride, and Lithium-Ion batteries. The company will collect used batteries from various Honda dealers in 22 countries, and prepare them for a “second life” as electrical storage systems, which can then be used in homes or businesses.

“As demand for Honda’s expanding range of hybrid and electric cars continues to grow so does the requirement to manage batteries in the most environmentally-friendly way possible,” Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President at Honda Motor Europe, said.

“Recent market developments may allow us to make use of these batteries in a second life application for powering businesses or by using recent improved recycling techniques to recover useful raw materials which can be used as feed stock into the production of new batteries, " Gardner added. 

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For battery cells that are damaged and unsuitable for ‘second life’ applications, Honda says that materials such as cobalt and lithium can be extracted using hydrometallurgy techniques. These can be reused in the production of new batteries, color pigments or as useful additives for mortar. Other commonly used materials including copper, metal and plastics are recycled and offered to the market for use in the production of a variety of applications.

“Dealers can arrange and request the collection of end-of-life batteries for treatment and recycling through SNAM’s dedicated online platform. Collection can be arranged from centralized storage hubs within 15 working days, so that dealers do not have to store batteries at their premises. The agreement applies to large ‘traction’ batteries used to power motors in hybrid and electric vehicles, as opposed to smaller batteries used for ignition in petrol or diesel cars,” Honda stated in its press release.

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