Toyota steps up 'Battery 3R' initiatives to create circular ecosystem for batteries
Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that it is promoting activities that focus on the creation of a circular economy, including a circular ecosystem for the batteries used in its electric and hybrid vehicles, in accordance with the broader aim of achieving carbon neutrality.
The automaker claims to be accelerating its 'Battery 3R' initiatives that represent reduce, rebuilt and reuse, and recycle of batteries in collaboration with various partners, depending on the availability of local battery production in each country and region.
'Battery 3R' is part of a Toyota's broader environmental strategy for global markets, it adds. The company is emphasizing the implementation of various initiatives related to the development of its vehicles worldwide starting from the design stage, such as resource recycling, improving the durability and longevity of products, and minimizing waste.
For instance, developing next-generation batteries that feature new chemistries and even new physical structures is one strategy under its 'reduce' objective. From further improving the energy density of liquid lithium-ion batteries and adopting bipolar structures, the automaker aims to make low-cost, high-performance solutions.
Further, Toyota says that it is improving the charging time in low ambient temperatures via improvements to the battery warm-up performance in cold weather and extending the actual driving range by reducing power consumption and optimizing air conditioning control.
On the rebuilt and reuse front, JERA Co., Inc. and Toyota have constructed a large-capacity sweep energy storage system using the traction batteries of used electrified vehicles in Japan. The constructed system enables a second use of EV batteries with large differences in performance and capacity in a non-automotive application.
Also, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Toyota have developed a stationary storage battery system of 1 MW/ 3 MWh capacity. Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation have installed this system at the Eurus Tashirohira Wind Farm, with a demonstration test now underway. Moreover, Toyota is currently rebuilding used nickel-metal hydride batteries removed from HEVs for stationary applications.
On battery recycling, Toyota and Redwood Materials recently announced an expanded recycling agreement that aims to create pathways for EV batteries reaching end of their first life. An additional agreement has also been made to source cathode active material (CAM) and anode copper foil from Redwood's recycling activities for Toyota's battery production.
Toyota claims that these agreements build on the initial collaboration with Redwood announced last year for battery collection and recycling of Toyota's hybrid and battery electric vehicle batteries.
The automaker is implementing the 'Battery 3R' initiatives in Japan, the U.S., Europe, China, and Asian markets, targeting large-scale collection and detoxification of end-of-life batteries globally.