The Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone National Park is a remote research and teaching facility that few tourists ever see. Located in the northeastern corner of the park, The Lamar campus specializes in field seminars, education programs and research.
Starting this fall, 208 nickel metal-hydride batteries taken from Toyota Camry hybrids will be re-purposed for use at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone. Total power for the system will be 85 kWh, more than enough power for all 5 buildings in the compound operate completely off the grid, with power coming exclusively from solar panels and micro-hydro turbines.
Putting old hybrid batteries to work for non-automotive purposes essentially doubles their useful life span before being recycled, which is good news for the environment and automakers. Toyota is supporting sustainability programs at Yellowstone in other ways as well, recently donating a RAV4 and $50,000 towards more green efforts and research. Too bad they didn’t donate a RAV4 EV, eh?
Toyota dealers in Japan have been using old hybrid batteries for power storage since last year. Building on that experience, Toyota is experimenting with using similar batteries for emergency back-up duty at its Alabama manufacturing facility. Finding new uses for hybrid and EV batteries that are no longer suitable for automotive use is an indication of Toyota’s commitment to building a sustainable future, and another advantage electrified vehicles have over their combustion competitors.