Batteries on hybrid vehicles lose their ability to maintain a proper charge for powering a vehicle over time, but that doesn’t mean they are useless. The nickel metal hydride battery packs used in Toyota vehicles can be put to use for other purposes. One of those purposes is to keep Yellowstone National Park lit up with solar power stored in donated batteries.
208 of these batteries are currently being used at Yellowstone to act as offline power for their solar power grid. These batteries, which came from Camry hybrids, are plugged into the system. Toyota has been heading in this direction since 2014 when they started solidifying deals with Indy Power Systems, Sharp USA SolarWorld, Patriot Solar, National Park Service and Yellowstone Park Foundation.
This is the type of symbiotic relationship that Toyota has mastered over the years. According to Torque News:
The National Park service benefits by getting reliable zero-emission power, but Toyota is also benefitting. The company says this is a first of its kind commercial re-use of hybrid batteries. The company is planning to study closely how the re-used packs perform. The expectation is that the life of the battery pack will be effectively doubled.
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