A major problem faced by electric cars is related to the batteries, which are made with highly toxic materials and difficult recovery. Thinking about it, Honda seems to have found a method of recycling called “rare earth materials,” minerals formed by the combination of alkaline rocks – which are essential for assembly of batteries.
The process developed by Japanese automaker allows extraction of up to 80% of rare earth materials in a battery. The technique recovers the material at a level of purity comparable to that of a miner is able to get when the draw of nature. This ensures that they can be re-used in new batteries.
This component type is expensive and contributes to the arguments of those who say that electric cars end up being so aggressive to the environment than cars burning, when considering materials involved and ecological costs of manufacturing the batteries.
Since the possibility of recycling of the rare earths, the tendency is that the cost of manufacture of a new battery falls enough and therefore the pressure on the extraction of minerals also reduces with time. The next step in Honda’s ability to increase recycling to reduce costs of production of its hybrid and fully electric cars.