Toyota Motor Europe announced that Umicore will recycle the lithium-ion batteries from two of the automaker’s models.
Umicore is a Belgium-based global materials technology group that handles the recycling of valuable battery elements such as nickel, cobalt and cooper in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. The company is also the only one in the entire world that operates two battery pack dismantling lines for hybrid vehicles and full electric vehicles.
After Toyota and Umicore sign the deal, the Belgian company will recycle the batteries of the automaker’s recently launched Toyota Prius + and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. In 2011 Toyota also announced its partnership with SNAM, a French battery recycler, to recycle the nickel-metal hydride batteries from all Lexus and Toyota full hybrid models sold since 2000.
These two partnerships will help the automaker comply and even be above the European Commission recycling efficiency directive. In May Toyota announced its plans to collect the batteries from the Toyota Prius hybrid cars that begin to reach 11 years, and recycle them.
“This whole concept is still in its infancy. Frankly speaking, we are looking for regional partners out there as we’re really concerned about the safety issue. Even a dead hybrid battery may have over 200 volts inside, which can cause serious injury or death,” said the company.