Toyota Prius Battery Harms Environment

By: Andy Hodges
Staff Writer
Published: Jun 23, 2021

Articles - 2010 Toyota Prius Battery Information

The 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid car uses a nickel metal hydride battery (NiMH) and that is starting a new controversy on whether it is truly a green car or not. The 2010 Prius uses a lot of fossil fuel during its hybrid battery development and critics want Toyota to correct its harmony and green statements. However, the automaker already has a recycling program.

Apparently, the nickel on the Toyota Prius battery is mined in Sudbury, Ontario. It is then smelted nearby where there are reports of local damage to the environment. The nickel is then shipped to a refinery in Wales.

When the nickel is refined, it is sent to China to be made into nickel foam. Then it is shipped to Japan and made into a hybrid battery for the 2010 Prius. Once the car is ready, it is shipped to the United States.

The argument is that the Toyota battery consumes a lot of fossil fuel during its development. While this is probably no more than a math theory, I still don't know why Toyota would be at fault for using a cargo company that still uses fossil fuel. I don't think there are any cargo companies using electric energy to power their ships.

Virtually, all cars including conventional and hybrid, are built this way. This process is not new and fossil fuel is the only way to power this globalize system. I still don't know why it's the fault of Toyota that these cargo ships burn all that excess fossil fuel.

The Washington Post wrote a story about this last Sunday, and I couldn't believe they would print something that is well-known as a myth and urban legend. The title of the story was "The Not-Quite-Green Toyota Prius" and was only four paragraphs in length. The article has no supporting evidence to back its claim or attacks on hybrid cars.

The story in the Washington Post is not true as the plant in question already outputs more than 95,000 tons of nickel annually since it also makes parts for conventional vehicles. Toyota outputs only 1,000 tons of nickel. The automaker and its batteries only account for 1.1 percent of the annual output.

While battery toxicity is a concern, although most of today's hybrids use NiMH batteries, not the environmentally problematic rechargeable nickel cadmium. Nickel metal hydride batteries can be fully recycled. The 2010 Toyota Prius is also part of one of the largest and successful recycling programs.

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