Honda reveals 'second life' electric vehicle battery recycle plan

Partnership with SNAM allows old EV and hybrid batteries to be repurposed for grid or domestic energy storage

Honda has revealed a new initiative for recycling electric vehicle and batteries once they reach the end of their usable life in cars. 

While the term ‘recycling’ suggests stripping the cells back to extract valuable elements like cobalt, nickel and copper, this is a process used only on batteries that have suffered irreparable damage. In most cases, the batteries are destined for a ‘second life, such as when they are used in home energy storage to make more efficient use of the electricity generated by organisations like the National Grid. 

Honda’s initiative is in partnership with SNAM (Société Nouvelle d’Affinage des Métaux). It has worked with SNAM since 2013, researching potential uses for second-hand EV batteries. 

SNAM will collect old lithium-ion and nickel-hydride batteries from Honda dealers across 22 countries, and find the appropriate next use for them from there.

Speaking about the announcement Honda’s European Senior Vice President, Tom Gardner, 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.”

Second hand batteries complement renewable energy sources like wind and solar. While fossil-fueled power is generally constant, wind and solar energy is subject to higher peaks (where too much electricity is generated) and lower troughs (where there’s not enough) depending on weather conditions. On an exceptionally breezy day, wind energy might generate more electricity than the grid demands; second life batteries would allow this energy to be stored, and then deployed, when weather conditions become calmer and windmills produce less electricity.

SNAM says that the batteries can be repurposed for both industrial and domestic use - so homeowners with second life batteries installed could potentially charge them overnight when electricity is cheaper, and use this energy during the day. 

Honda isn’t the only car brand to see the benefit in developing a second life for automotive batteries. Volkswagen has previously proposed measures for a mobile car charging station, using a 360kWh bank of old batteries to charge EVs in carparks without a sufficient electricity supply of their own.

Click here to see the best electric cars on sale...

Recommended

'Judging by 2020's stats, demand for EVs is growing'
Opinion - electric cars
Opinion

'Judging by 2020's stats, demand for EVs is growing'

Steve Fowler finds some positive all-electric figures from a year of sales doom and gloom
13 Jan 2021
‘Your car may not be the most efficient tool for your new, lower-mileage life’
Opinion

‘Your car may not be the most efficient tool for your new, lower-mileage life’

Mike Rutherford thinks now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your modes of transport
20 Dec 2020
Pester power from kids pushes parents towards electric cars
News

Pester power from kids pushes parents towards electric cars

More than half of UK children want their parents to make the switch to an electrified car
27 Oct 2020
Government should place 15% EV quota on car manufacturers, campaigners say
Electric cars

Government should place 15% EV quota on car manufacturers, campaigners say

Global Action Plan and FIA Foundation claim 59 per cent of two-car families could run an electric car without any hindrance
17 Aug 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift arrives with Golf 8 styling
Volkswagen Polo - front
Volkswagen Polo Hatchback

New 2021 Volkswagen Polo facelift arrives with Golf 8 styling

Revamped Mk6 Volkswagen Polo unveiled with new GTI version coming next year
21 Apr 2021
New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe
Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD - front
Vauxhall

New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe

The Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD EV reboots the iconic Manta coupe for the electric era
20 Apr 2021
Stellantis maps out future EV platforms with up to 497 miles of range
Stellantis battery
Peugeot

Stellantis maps out future EV platforms with up to 497 miles of range

Four new EV platforms for Stellantis Group, the first of which we’ll see in 2023
20 Apr 2021