Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

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The 24th ICBR review

24th ICBR conferenceThe process of recycling batteries has always been a subject of increasing importance. However, as Lithium-ion becomes more prevalent in many different industries, how they are reused or recycled is creating much attention. This can be signified by a record number of attendees this year at the 24th International Congress of Battery Recycling, held in Lyon and hosted by ICM.

ATF Professional was there for the two-day event to find out what was discussed when it came to EV batteries and what will happen to them as they or the vehicles that they power comes to their end of life. 

With manufacturers such as Renault, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Volvo in attendance, the focus on EVs was very much at the forefront of the conference. As a keynote speaker, Jean-Denis Curt, Recycling and Circular Economy Unit Manager from Renault, explained how they have been pioneers in creating a unique circular economy ecosystem with their GAIA programme using materials from ELVs. As his presentation turned to the use of second life batteries he was also keen to mention the largest stationary storage system using EV batteries ever designed in Europe. This was to be achieved by using up to 2000 EV batteries in three locations in France and Germany. 

Jean-Denis Curt ICBR 2019
Jean-Denis Curt

What was also high on the agenda was the movement of end of life EV batteries throughout Europe and the world. A process heavily involved in bureaucracy which was explained by Alain Vassart from EBRA. The growing importance of safe transport of these batteries was supported by the high number of companies exhibiting various safe packaging for waste and damaged and defective batteries.  

With the expected rise in batteries being transported cross border there was concern as to how it would be monitored. There was also concern as to how the EU battery directive would be implemented. Although not the only one as Francesco Gattiglio, EU Affairs manager at Eurobat called for the battery directive to be closer aligned with the ELV directive, something which is currently being revised. 

The role of the vehicle dismantler in the life cycle of EV batteries seems to be overlooked at present. Maybe due to the relevant small volumes of vehicles reaching their end of life. However, there were several speeches regarding the predicted amount of vehicles entering the market and when combined with the demand for their materials it is inevitable that the role of the dismantler will grow. 

In her presentation, Renata Arsenault from Ford mentioned how they were creating a pilot scheme focusing on the role of the vehicle dismantler and when focusing on the Blockchain of an EV battery, Lauren Roman from EverLedger commented that the vehicle dismantler was being forgotten about when EV batteries were discussed and there was a need to incentivise them to understand the expected involvement required from them.

A good turn out at ICBR 2019A message that echoed throughout the two-day event to its 320 guests was that although developing, there was no fixed definitions as to how batteries were to be reused or recycled. There is to be a growing demand for their materials and the recycling of batteries as they reach their end of life which will help to fuel this demand. China seems to be well ahead of other countries when it comes to having an infrastructure to deal with the growth of production and recycling. 

It is clear in the knowledge that the ICBR provides plenty of thoughts, questions and some answers to the developing world of battery recycling in the lithium-ion era. It is clear that focus will turn to the involvement of the dismantler as more cars enter yards throughout the world as the need for their recycled materials grow. Perhaps there will be more questions but as the ICBR grows it will definitely be the place to find the answers.

The ICM will be hosting the 20th International Automobile Recycling Congress in Geneva on 11th to 13th March 2020.

To find out more about this upcoming event visit www.icm.ch/iarc-2020

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction www.salvagemarket.co.uk drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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