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Umicore will recycle the lithium-ion batteries that help power the Prius Plug-in Hybrid (Photo: Toyota)

Umicore will handle the recycling of the lithium-ion batteries that help power two new Toyota models, Toyota Motor Europe said.

The Japanese carmaker said Umicore, a Belgium-based global materials technology group, has the capability to recycle valuable battery elements such as cobalt, nickel and copper in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. Umicore is also the only company worldwide operating two dedicated hybrid vehicle or full electric vehicle battery pack dismantling lines, Toyota said.

Once the partnership is finalized, Umicore will have the responsibility to recycle the batteries of the recently launched Toyota Prius + and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

Toyota Motor Europe last year announced  a partnership with French battery recycler SNAM to recycle the nickel-metal hydride batteries found in all Toyota and Lexus full hybrid models sold since 2000.

The two agreements will more than help Toyota meet a European Commission battery recycling directive. Toyota will be "well above the European Commission recycling efficiency target," the company said.