Honda Ramps Up Second-Life Battery Euro Plans

Honda is accelerating its European battery recycling strategy to keep pace with the growing numbers of spent power-packs in its range of electrified vehicles.

The automaker’s Europe wing has teamed up with battery processor the Société Nouvelle d’Affinage des Métaux (SNAM) to repurpose its end-of-life traction batteries. The pan-European arrangement will see SNAM collect and recycle batteries from the carmaker’s hybrid and electric vehicles hoping to prepare them for second-life renewable energy storage uses or else extract materials for recycling if they are too far gone.

The scheme will see SNAM collect lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries from across Honda’s dealer network and authorized treatment facilities (ATF) in 22 countries, before analyzing how suitable they are for recycling. Safe and low carbon transport will be used for the collection of used vehicle batteries.

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, color 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.

Dealerships can arrange and request the collection of end-of-life batteries for treatment and recycling through SNAM’s online platform. Collection can be arranged from centralized 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 ICE powered cars.

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.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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