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Used Toyota Camry Hybrid Batteries to Power Part of Yellowstone National Park

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author photo by Doug DeMuro June 2014
  • Used Toyota hybrid batteries will power a rural part of Yellowstone
  • Batteries will power five buildings, storing energy from solar panels and water turbines
  • Repurposing hybrid batteries is better for the environment than disposing of them

Used Toyota Camry Hybrid batteries will soon power a portion of Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park. That's the latest from Toyota, which worked with Yellowstone to find a new application for its used batteries in order to lessen the environmental impact of its hybrid cars.

According to Toyota, the batteries will be used to power Yellowstone's Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus, which is in the northeast portion of the park. The campus, which is used to preserve a free-roaming bison herd, includes five buildings -- all of which will now run on power from the used Camry Hybrid battery packs.

So how will it all work? Toyota says the Lamar Buffalo Ranch campus will require 208 Camry Hybrid battery packs to power all of its buildings. The batteries, which will likely come from damaged Camry Hybrids, will store energy harvested from solar panels and small water turbine systems, providing the ranch with all the power it needs. The end result is a completely emission-free and self-sustaining power system for the ranch and its buildings.

Interestingly, this isn't Toyota's first application of used hybrid batteries as a building power source. The automaker has been repurposing old hybrid batteries to supply power to some of its Japanese dealerships since 2013 -- and Toyota says its Alabama plant is testing a similar technology as backup power in case of emergency.

The decision to use old hybrid batteries in this way is a good one for Toyota, which, like several other automakers, has come under fire in recent years for waste involved during the disposal process for its hybrid batteries. The nickel used in Toyota's hybrid batteries is especially bad for the environment, so repurposing an old battery, rather than disposing of it, is sure to please shoppers who otherwise appreciate the environmentally friendly aspects of Toyota's hybrid cars.

This isn't the first time Toyota has made a donation to Yellowstone National Park, in 2004 they donated four Toyota Prius hatchbacks. Later, Toyota donated a Highlander Hybrid, two Tundra pickups, a RAV4 and $800,000.

What it means to you: More than 200 Toyota Camry Hybrid batteries will get a second life in Yellowstone, where they'll provide emission-free power to part of the park.

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Used Toyota Camry Hybrid Batteries to Power Part of Yellowstone National Park - Autotrader