Japanese automaker Toyota has entered into a collaboration with battery recycling provider Cirba Solutions in the United States. The partnership aims to facilitate the collection, transportation, dismantling, and processing of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries from Toyota's electric and hybrid vehicles in the Midwest and East Coast regions.
The agreement with Cirba Solutions allows Toyota to regionalize its battery collection operations, focusing on the Midwest and East Coast. Cirba Solutions' facility in Lancaster, Ohio, will be responsible for processing the collected batteries, extracting critical minerals with up to a 95% recovery rate to supply battery-grade metals for new electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
This collaboration aligns with Toyota's efforts to comply with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Law regulations concerning electric vehicle battery recycling. The partnership will enable Toyota to reduce costs, lower emissions, and enhance its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings.
Cirba Solutions' Lancaster facility recently secured an $82+ million Department of Energy grant as part of the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Law, emphasizing the growing importance of battery recycling in the evolving EV industry.
Toyota expects the collaboration to significantly decrease transportation-related emissions by reducing the average miles driven for battery collection and recycling. The company estimates a minimum 70% reduction in overall transportation and logistics costs through the partnership with Cirba Solutions.
The move is part of Toyota's broader strategy to create a sustainable, closed-loop ecosystem for its automotive batteries. While the company anticipates an increase in the number of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries, especially as it expands its electric vehicle offerings, the partnership with Cirba Solutions positions Toyota to efficiently manage the recycling process and contribute to the circular economy.
Additionally, Toyota is investing in new facilities, such as the Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC) plant under construction, which is expected to start operations in 2025. The TBMNC plant reflects Toyota's commitment to building a robust battery industry capacity in North America.
The collaboration between Toyota and Cirba Solutions represents a step forward in addressing the environmental impact of electric vehicle batteries, meeting regulatory requirements, and contributing to the sustainable growth of the electric mobility sector.