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Honda Is Giving Batteries From Old EVs A Second Life

Honda is expanding its partnership with European recycling specialists SNAM, which will collect used batteries from Honda dealers in 22 countries and prepare them for a second life as electrical storage systems for homes or businesses.

Proper disposal of the high-voltage batteries in hybrids and EVs is a huge part of the sustainability equation, and finding ways to re-use and recycle them is a great way to make sure our favorite green cars stay green. To that end, Honda is expanding its partnership with European recycling specialists SNAM, which will collect used batteries from Honda dealers in 22 countries and prepare them for a second life as electrical storage systems for homes or businesses.

Recycled batteries storing wind energy

Recycled batteries storing wind energy | Images courtesy of Honda

“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,” explains Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President at Honda Motor Europe. “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.”

All of that is great for batteries that are still in relatively good shape, but what about damaged batteries? In that case, they’re largely unsuitable for “second life” applications, but they’re far from worthless. “Materials such as cobalt and lithium can be extracted using hydro-metallurgy techniques involving the use of aqueous chemistry,” reads Honda’s press release on the matter. “These can be reused in the production of new batteries, color pigments or as useful additives for mortar.”

That means more raw materials with less emission-heavy digging, mining, and transporting of those rare Earth minerals than there is now. Much more sustainable, in other words, than just tossing the old battery packs in a landfill.

EV batteries recycled into stuff by SNAM | Images courtesy of Honda

You can check out the official Honda Europe press release, below, then let us know what you think of Honda and SNAM’s battery recycling collaboration in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

HONDA HYBRID & EV BATTERIES GET ‘SECOND LIFE’ IN NEW RECYCLING INITIATIVE

Honda Motor Europe is expanding its battery recycling partnership with SNAM (Société Nouvelle d’Affinage des Métaux) to advance the sustainable usability of its end-of-life traction batteries. The pan-European arrangement will see SNAM collect and recycle batteries from Honda’s increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles and either potentially prepare them for ‘second-life’ renewable energy storage uses or extract valuable materials for recycling if they are not suitable for that purpose.

Honda and SNAM have worked together since 2013, to ensure the traceability of end-of-life batteries and dispose of them in accordance with European Union environmental standards. The expansion of this agreement will see SNAM collect Lithium-ion and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries from across Honda’s dealer network and Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATF) in 22 countries, before analysing how suitable they are for recycling and processing them accordingly.

Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President at Honda Motor Europe, said: “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. 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 feedstock into the production of new batteries.”

Safe and low carbon transport is utilised for the collection of used traction batteries. On arrival, SNAM assesses which battery packs are valid for inclusion in a new energy storage device. These are then repurposed and made available by SNAM for domestic and industrial applications.

When battery cells are damaged and unsuitable for ‘second life’ applications, materials such as cobalt and lithium can be extracted using hydrometallurgy techniques involving the use of aqueous chemistry. These can be reused in the production of new batteries, colour 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 centralised 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.

SNAM is supportive to Honda’s activities on eco-conscious design of future batteries, so that the environmental sound treatment of these batteries at the end of their useful life can be guaranteed.

Sources and images: Honda Europe, via Motorpasión and Focus.

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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.

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