Honda Partners With SNAM to Expand EV Battery Recycling Plan

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【Summary】Honda may not have an electric vehicle in the United States at the moment, but the Japanese automaker is already looking at what it can do with used electric car batteries.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 26, 2020 5:00 AM PT
Honda Partners With SNAM to Expand EV Battery Recycling Plan

Now that electric vehicles are starting to gain some traction and becoming viable options as primary vehicles, automakers are now looking for ways to recycle old batteries. It's something a lot of brands are having to look into, as more and more electrified vehicles come out. It's not just purely electric vehicles that come with batteries these days, but hybrids and plug-in hybrids, too. Honda recently announced a new partnership with SNAM to find new ways to sustainably use batteries from electrified cars once they're done with their automotive-related duties.

Giving Old Batteries A Second Chance

In a similar move to other automakers, Honda and SNAM's "second-life" plan for its old batteries is for them to be used in a way that will see them act as energy storage devices. From home energy storage devices to more substantial hardware to allow large organizations to operate more efficiently, old electrified car batteries will survive in the future as devices that can store a large amount of electricity.

As AutoExpress points out, second-life batteries have become excellent items that complement renewable energy sources. Unlike fossil-fuel power sources, wind and solar are more suspectable to higher peaks, an instance where too much electricity is produced, and lower troughs, when more power is needed depending on mother nature. During higher peaks, second-life batteries can help companies store clean energy until it's needed, helping it work more cleanly and efficiently.

Well, that's what SNAM would like to do with all of the lithium-ion and nickel-hydride batteries it receives from Honda across 22 countries, but some units it gets won't be able to be salvaged. For the batteries that have suffered irreparable damage, battery cells will be stripped to allow the company to retrieve the previous materials. Those include copper, nickel, and cobalt.

Being Kind To The Environment

Tom Gardner, Honda's European Senior Vice President stated, "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."

Honda recently entered into a partnership with General Motors to introduce two new electric vehicles by 2024. The vehicles will use General Motors' latest Ultium battery technology and modular platform. It's unclear whether Honda and SNAM's will eventually include GM's batteries down the road. Either way, it's clear that Honda is preparing for a future where electrified vehicles hang around for the foreseeable future.

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