Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has established a way to reuse rare earth metals extracted from nickel-metal hydride(Ni-MH) batteries to create new ones that are to be used as battery packs for Honda hybrid vehicles.
Based on an internal research done by Honda, the company claims to be the first one to establish a process to recycle Ni-MH batteries and use it as negative-electrode materials for new nickel-metal hydride batteries. The extraction process takes as much as 80% of the said earth metals contained in old batteries and has a purity of 99% which is as high as that of newly mined ones.
Honda will be utilizing this process to recycle nickel-metal hydride batteries collected from 386 brand new Honda hybrid vehicles that were damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Furthermore, Honda will also begin applying the same process and recycle rare earth metals extracted from used nickel-metal hydride batteries collected by Honda dealers through battery replacement.
This move by Honda is in line with the company's efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of the entire automotive sector along with its ongoing developments of more fuel-efficient gasoline and hybrid vehicles.