The drive among all OEMs to rethink and reduce consumption in manufacturing process is sparking innovation. Honda, for example, is exploring the second-life opportunities of electric vehicle battery materials

Honda is expanding its activities on recycling end-of-life-batteries from electric vehicles and hybrids.

The OEM operates a pan-European arrangement with French firm SNAM that explores the possibility of using electric vehicle batteries in a ’second life’. Alternatively, when battery cells are damaged and unsuitable for ‘second life’ applications, materials such as cobalt and lithium, as well the plastic components, can be extracted and reused.

The process makes use of hydrometallurgy techniques, in other words, aqueous chemistry. It means the extracted metals, which can be difficult and expensive to retrieve from mineral sources, can be reused in the production of new batteries. Other second-life applications include colour pigments or additives for mortar.

Other materials commonly used in electric vehicle battery production, such as copper, have enormous recycling potential for vehicle manufacturers and can be offered to the automotive sector and other markets for a variety of applications.