It’s common knowledge that hybrid cars are better for the environment than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles; hybrids release between 25% and 35% less harmful emissions into the environment, on average. Since hybrids have been on the market for some time now, there is another issue that can affect the environment, however — and not in a positive way.
Hybrid batteries do fail and, in fact, this has been a major source of anxiety for hybrid owners, since replacement was so costly and in many cases unexpected. Battery warranties vary by state, but the average is eight years or 100,000 miles. Hybrid batteries, however, were failing as soon as six years after the initial purchase.
These days, hybrid batteries are more efficient, better performing, and longer lasting — but recycling hybrid batteries is still becoming an issue as more and more hybrid vehicles are retired from the road.
According to Hybridcars.com, Toyota Motors Europe (TME) is taking measures to get to a 100% recovery rate for their hybrid batteries. Resource Efficient Business reports that TME is already recycling 91% of their batteries but hopes to reach a rate of 100% by 2018.
Since hybrid battery technology is advancing and there are more options for remanufacturing and reconditioning existing batteries, the need for recycling may slow in the coming years. Until then, it might be beneficial for other hybrid battery manufacturers to adopt a recycling plan.