In order to reduce emissions and to tide over the unsteady supply of rare earth elements from China, Honda is mulling over the plan to recycle rare earths and other key materials in hybrid auto batteries. This key innovation by the Japanese automaker is the first-of-its-kind initiative to go green. The company is targeting September or October to begin recycling of rare earths.
Honda President Takanobu Ito has said, “In the long term, we hope to move to renewable energy sources that won’t harm the environment.” Meanwhile, Beijing has clarified its export curbs on rare earths as an environmental measure and rejected a World Trade Organization challenge by the US, Europe and Japan. China has about 30% of rare earths deposits but accounts for more than 90% of production.