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Recycling High Voltage Batteries

Simon Kvilhaug /
  • Categories: EHS

Hybrid vehicles have been gaining mainstream popularity with consumers at a steady rate since Toyota first launched the Prius in Japan in 1997. Battery electric vehicles have followed suit, seeing an even greater spike in the market as companies like Tesla join the alternative fuels game.  This growth is one of the most visible and publicized components of the worldwide push to reduce carbon emissions.   This effort was made possible, however, by significant advancements in high voltage battery technology and capabilities, and an increase in the efficiency and capacity for energy storage and output.

Recently, Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH) have emerged as one of the dominant electrical storage solutions, presenting a durable and cost-effective option.  However, Lithium Ion batteries (Li-Ion) are also making a name for themselves.  Believed to match NiMH batteries in power capacity, tests indicate that Li-Ion is the can maintain a rate of electrical storage for much longer.  Li-Ion’s also weigh less and are smaller, two very important factors for auto manufacturers striving to maximize vehicle efficiency.

But with both NiMH and Li-Ion, as well as other options populating the market, a new problem is rising: what do we do with these batteries?  No matter the efficiency, power capacity, size, weight, or any other factor, none of these batteries are invincible.  And when the battery is eventually damaged or reaches the end of its life, it still needs to be recycled properly to avoid being a hazard.

So how do we do that? Proper packaging, labeling, and documentation are just a few of the many steps and elements that go into ensuring that batteries are handled in a safe and environmentally responsible way.  Each type of battery has its own unique features and set of hazards that must be considered and addressed.

Reducing carbon emissions is a worthwhile endeavor, as long as we don’t create another hazard in the process.  Find out how KPA can help you handle your High Voltage Battery Recycling Operations by contacting KPA’s Renewable Energy Project Manager, Simon Kvilhaug, at

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