For users of hybrid vehicles generally worried about the lifespan of their batteries, here’s an interesting factoid to take note: Toyota claims that hybrid batteries generally outlast the vehicle’s life. We’d add the caveat that such a claim is subject to the vehicle’s maintenance and driving style.
In the European market, where recycling of used vehicle parts is a matter looked seriously upon, the recovery of used hybrid batteries (which are usually made from toxic rare earth minerals) is an important area to ensure that a hybrid vehicle lives up to its promise as an environmentally-friendly mode of transport not just during its ownership period, but in the entirety of its existence from factory to scrapyard.
This is an issue that Toyota has been long aware of and its European subsidiary, Toyota Motor Europe (TME), has set up extensive internal processes with official Toyota and Lexus repairers to return used hybrid batteries recovered in the event a vehicle is scrapped or involved in a major accident.
Through this initiative, official Toyota and Lexus dealers that give back a used hybrid battery to TME gets a new one in return. To date, the scheme has proved successful, with 91 percent of disposed Toyota / Lexus hybrid batteries returning to the company’s possession.
Moving forward, TME is now aiming to achieve 100 percent recovery of used hybrid batteries by extending the battery recycling agreements it has with France-based Soci