Honda announced today that it will start a mass-production recycling program to extract rare earth metals from used car parts.
Partnering with Japan Metals & Chemicals Co., the automaker will begin extracting the materials, which are 95 percent controlled by China. The majority of material harvesting will be from nickel-metal hydride batteries collected from used hybrid vehicles sourced from Honda’s massive dealer network.
Currently, China’s near-monopoly over the material is causing drastic price inflation, but finding a way to circumvent that cost is obviously advantageous.
The project will extract 80 percent of the nickel-metal hydride from used hybrid batteries and will eventually use the process for other components as well.