Honda and trading house Mitsubishi Corp. have signed a pact to explore new businesses using electric-vehicle batteries, the companies said on Thursday.

The move comes as car makers worldwide embrace battery-driven electric vehicles, but struggle with questions such as tackling the environmental impact after the batteries run out.

"Honda will not only sell EVs, but take a proactive approach to energy management, where EV batteries will be utilized as an energy source," the firm's chief executive, Toshihiro Mibe, said in a statement.

Under their memorandum of understanding, the companies look to set up a business in monitoring usage of Honda's mini-EV model battery and transferring the auto battery to stationary energy storage, they said.

Honda will begin sales of the EV model in Japan in 2024.

They will also seek to co-operate in "smart charging" that automatically adjusts the timing of EV charge for efficiency and the "Vehicle to Grid" system, a technology that supplies electricity stored in EVs to the grid.

The deal will eventually pay off in lower electricity bills for customers and better use of battery material, the companies said.