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What’s The Deal With The Batteries? Battery Lifespan, Disposal & Recycling

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by hb06, Feb 21, 2007.

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  1. hb06

    hb06 Member

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    "The hybrid battery packs are designed to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 miles, probably a whole lot longer. The warranty covers the batteries for between eight and ten years, depending on the manufacturer."

    "Hybrids use NiMH batteries, not the environmentally problematic rechargeable nickel cadmium. "Nickel metal hydride batteries are benign. They can be fully recycled," says Ron Cogan, editor of the Green Car Journal. Toyota and Honda say that they will recycle dead batteries and that disposal will pose no toxic hazards. Toyota puts a phone number on each battery, and they pay a $200 "bounty" for each battery to help ensure that it will be properly recycled.

    http://www.betterworldclub.com/articles/details-on-prius.htm
  2. chogan

    chogan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(HBO6 @ Feb 21 2007, 12:42 PM) [snapback]394003[/snapback]</div>

    And probably make money on the deal, and probably set that bounty when nickel was a lot cheaper than it is today. The battery contains about 22 lbs of nickel, current price about $19/lb, or roughly $420 worth of nickel per battery. At that rate, somebody ought to want to recycle it. Nice that they set a hassle-free floor on it, though.

    By contrast, lead currently sells for $0.83/lb. So your average car battery might contain $15(?) worth of lead. Laws enforce recycling of lead car batteries. Estimates range from 90 to 95% of lead-acid car batteries are recycled. But that's a public health issue, which the NiMH batteries apparently are not. Still, tough to think of another part off a worn out scrap auto that's worth a guaranteed $200 less shipping.
  3. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    NiCad batteries can also be completely recycled, but it's not as easy as NiMH. Cadmium is toxic (carcinogenic, actually), so expensive precautions must be taken. In fact it has been outlawed on produced goods!

    The electrolyte is Potassium Hydroxide, very similar in properties to sodium hydroxide, or lye. It's easy to turn into salt during disposal. Toyota got all concerned about it in the event of an accident etc. but that's normal. They want to make sure they are not accused of being irresponsible. I've handled both KOH and NaOH, even had it on my hands. Not the sort of thing you'd want to do intentionally, but it's not as aggressive as some insinuate.

    Still, "don't try this at home folks! We're trained professionals." ;)
  4. jaymonds

    jaymonds New Member

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    Its great move from Toyota for the betterment of environment and promoting recycling.
    Cheers
    recycle mobile
  5. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    if i actually have to replace the battery, i'm towing the prius to the dealer batteryless and keeping the battery for myself and keeping the $250 or more reward for myself
  6. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    -Most- dealers include the rebate (the $200) in the calculation for the cost of the part you are buying. Keeping the battery wouldn't really give you any benefit, unless you can find a scrap yard that will pay you more for it.

    For example, you could probably sell it on eBay for around $500. But you might have to lie a bit to get that. ;)
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