NEW YORK Toyota Tsusho
America Inc. is looking to partner with local scrap recyclers
to develop a collection system for end-of-life hybrid vehicle
By Toyota Tsusho Americas
count, more than 50,000 such batteries will be arriving at
North American scrapyards within four years, posing a serious
safety hazard if no organized collection system is in
"(There are) inherent risks in
high-voltage batteries if theyre not handled properly,"
Toshiya Fukui, senior manager of the nonferrous metals
department at Toyota Tsusho America, told attendees at the
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries annual convention and
exposition in Las Vegas. "Even a dead hybrid battery may still
contain 200 volts, which can cause serious injury or death.
These batteries werent designed to be disassembled by
anyone except engineers."
The company, which has operated
a hybrid vehicle battery recycling program in Japan for the
past 10 years, is looking to launch a similar collection system
in North America.
Fukui said that the existence of
such a program would help the company develop a raw material
stream for batteries as well as mitigate product liability
risk. He added that Toyota would consider expanding the program
to include other automotive companies once the system is
With just under 1.4 million
Toyota hybrid vehicles sold in North America since 2000, the
Georgetown, Ky.-based subsidiary of Japans Toyota Motor
Co. estimates that more than 50,000 hybrid vehicles will be
entering the recycling stream by 2016 and surpass 250,000 by
2024. Most of these vehicles will enter the recycling stream
where hybrid sales are strongest: California, Texas, Florida,
Arizona and Oregon.