• Hybrid battery collection 'to 100%'
ADVANCED DESIGN: One type of Toyota/Lexus hybrid battery which the company wants vehicle owners to return. Image: Newspress.
• Wants to maximise recovery rate
• Extends recycling agreements
TOKYO, Japan - The hybrid batteries used in Toyota and Lexus models can last longer the vehicles themselves so often they are only recovered when a cars reached the end of its useful life or is wrecked in a crash.
Toyota already has a battery collection rate of more than 90% but is now widening its strategy. It wants them ALL.
Toyota Europe has years of experience in operating an internal collection system through its retail network. Toyota and Lexus dealers receive a new hybrid battery in exchange for an old one, leading to an average 91% collection rate.
Toyota Motor Europe has set itself the challenge to increase this figure to 100% through its own network and, additionally, any authorised end-of-life vehicle treatment operators.
To support this, the company has announced an extension of its current battery recycling agreements until March 31 2018.
The French-based Société Nouvelle d’Affinage des Métaux (the New Metal Refining Company) has since July 2011 been taking back and recycling nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) batteries, as used in Prius, Auris Hybrid, Yaris Hybrid and all Lexus hybrid models.
Since August 2012 Umicore, based in Belgium, has handled the lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries used in the Prius+ and Prius Plug-in.
Toyota Motor Europe's general manager for environmental afffairs, Steve Hope, said: "When our customers buy a hybrid they already know they are in for outstanding fuel efficiency, a stress-free driving experience and a reliable car. This is yet another reason for a hybrid purchase as we can ensure their car excels in its environmental performance throughout its life.”
TOYOTA SOUTH AFRICA'S STORY...
Wheels24 asked Toyota SA what was happening here...
What is the situation in South Africa as regards the above? Does SA contribute to Toyota’s collection policy?
REPLY: Toyota South Africa is part of Toyota's global HVB (Hybrid Vehicle Batteries) recovery network since 2012. Although sales of hybrid vehicles are much lower than those in developed countries, Toyota South Africa has since 2012 pro-actively started to recover warranty and out-of warranty HVB from its Dealers.
Any idea how many batteries, if any, Toyota SA has shipped back to source?
REPLY: In South Africa these HVB are not shipped back to source. Toyota SA is using some of these HVB for training purposes and some are re-used for energy storage and consumption where the quality of these HVB still makes this possible. Toyota's policy is to ensure proper final disposal via a reputable local company for those HVB that cannot be repaired.
Do you know how many Toyota hybrid batteries exist (in AND out of cars) in SA?
REPLY: What Toyota SA can report is that 173 new HVB have been shipped to dealers in South Africa since the programme started, with most of the old/defective batteries returned to Toyota SA for re-use or safe disposal. We have monthly environmental committee meetings where hybrid battery numbers and the process are monitored.
Any idea how many Toyota Prius have been sold in SA and how many are still on the road?
REPLY: Since the launch of the Prius in 2005, 1029 have been sold in South Africa. As some are now out of warranty, we do not have an accurate number for how many arestill on the road.