Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor Corp. has announced a new power management system that runs on batteries recycled from their Prius hybrid cars. The company aims to start selling the nickel-metal hydride battery systems this April, targeting between 30 and 50 units a year to Toyota-affiliated dealerships throughout Japan.
Toyota says the energy management systems will come combined with modules used for solar power or energy-saving air conditioning units. Each storage system is created from 10 recycled Prius batteries and features a capacity of 10 kilowatt-hours. Prices are currently estimated to be about 3 million yen (approx. $34,000) each, and will be sold under the Toyota Turbine and Systems Inc. division. Toyota also plans to start selling a compact 4 kwh model this fall, along with making the management systems available to businesses like convenience stores. While the units are meant for reducing consumption of gas and electricity, and improving energy efficiency, the other great feature about them is that they can be used as backup power sources in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
The the popularity of hybrid vehicles increasing every year in Japan, Toyota says it already collect roughly 6,000 used batteries a year from dealerships and other places for recycling. The auto manufacturer says it dismantles them and tries to reuse whatever it can in order to reduce their impact on the environment. It’s great to hear that some new battery technologies are turning out to be beneficial, rather than the problems surrounding the lithium-ion rechargeable units currently plaguing Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner airplane.