Honda is putting to good use material from the batteries of hundreds of hybrid vehicles that were rendered unsellable after the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Honda is now able to extract rare earth metals from the batteries of 387 hybrid vehicles and put them into new batteries for new hybrid vehicles. This is an important process because the metals from these batteries are, well, rare, so any opportunity to not have mine for more is awesome.
According to this article there is no need to worry about the quality of battery in Honda hybrids.
“The good news is that the rare earth metals extracted in this process have a purity ofmore than 99%, which is as high as that of ordinary traded, newly mined rare earth metals. In addition, the new process enables the extraction of as much as above 80% of rare earth metals contained in nickel-metal hydride battery.”
This new ‘rare earth metals’ extraction system will not only be used on hybrid vehicles damaged by the tsunami in Japan, but as the process is worked out, will be used for batteries collected by dealerships as they get used hybrid vehicles. That will, undoubtedly, make a big difference in the overall environmental impact of the hybrid vehicle itself and Honda processes in general.