Some 370,000 European hybrid Toyota and Lexus models are equipped with NiMH batteries

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has signed a three-year framework agreement with France's Societe Nouvelle d’Affinage des Métaux (SNAM) for the European-wide take back and sustainable recycling of high-voltage industrial nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.

Toyota has sold around 370,000 Toyota and Lexus hybrids equipped with NiMH batteries and these will start reaching the end of their lives in coming years.

The agreement with SNAM, a major battery-recycling group, ensures that batteries from any of Toyota's European operations can be recycled. These operations include TME's headquarters in Brussels, its nine car plants, 30 national sales companies and mmore than 3,000 Toyota and Lexus dealerships.

Toyota said the agreement with SNAM complies with all requirements set out by the European Union's Battery Directive. That regulation, which came into force in 2006, requires all member states to have achieved significant battery recycling progress by September of this year.