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

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Adam Hewitt

Building a New Circular Economy: How EMR is Helping to Influence the Future of EV Battery Recycling

The rollout of electric vehicles (EVs) – and the sophisticated high-power batteries on which they run – represents a moment of profound change for both metal recyclers and their partners in the UK automotive industry.
Building a New Circular Economy: How EMR is Helping to Influence the Future of EV Battery Recycling p
Helen Waters, Head of Electric Battery Recycling at EMR

At stake is the possibility of a truly circular economy for EV batteries, boosting the sustainability of this exciting technology, while safeguarding the valuable resources – including lithium, cobalt, and nickel – on which it relies.

“It took four decades to perfect the processes for recycling an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, but this time we will only have a few years to get it right,” says Helen Waters, Head of Electric Battery Recycling at EMR. “Some of the processes are the same, but many aren’t – from efficiently testing the health of a battery to disassembly and logistics, there’s a number of challenges that EMR has identified in creating this new circular economy, and we’re already busy speaking to car makers, leasing companies and dealerships to get it right.”

The ultimate goal of this work is straightforward: as a global leader in sustainable materials, EMR recycles thousands of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) every week at its more than 60 UK sites. As EVs become more common on our roads, EMR must ensure it retains its market-leading position as a sustainable, responsible, and efficient recycler of ELVs.

Yet, the current generation of high-performance EVs are so reliable that most will not reach the end of their working lives for at least a decade or more. That’s why EMR is working with the automotive industry now, using product recalls, warranty failures and even the batteries used in e-bikes and e-scooters to provide the volume of material needed to scale up a circular economy for EV batteries.

“Our message to the industry is to work with us today so that our businesses can collaborate, whether that is on designing new easy-to-recycle batteries, putting in place the logistics required for this transition, or to further develop the technology required to recycle EV batteries,” says Helen.

A lot of this work is already underway. Over the past two years, EMR has led a project aimed at separating and processing end-of-life EV batteries for re-use or remanufacturing (for renewable energy storage) and, if this isn’t possible, recycling. The RECOVAS consortium brings together car makers, including Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, and BMW, alongside Connected Energy, Autocraft Solutions, the UK Battery Innovation Centre (UKBIC) and academics from the University of Warwick – a great example of the sector-wide cooperation that will be required going forward. The collaboration is part-funded by the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre.

“RECOVAS isn’t the only example of the way EMR is working with the industry. I have recently been in conversation with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and motorsport companies about ways to improve cars from the design phase onwards, to improve the process of recycling or re-using their batteries at end of life,” says Helen.

The investment EMR is making now represents a significant part of its own journey to net-zero by 2040 – as outlined by the company’s Sustainability strategy. Yet, Helen says that its work on EV battery recycling represents a problem-solving opportunity for the whole industry:

Helen added: “Automotive manufacturers have their own 2030 sustainability targets in place, and many have already pledged to deliver a circular economy for their materials as well. In addition, EU Recycled Content targets – added to concerns about resource security – means the industry is already aware that business as usual is no longer an option.

As more of our infrastructure and transport network becomes reliant on renewable electricity, the EV battery recycling technology we develop now will help create circular supply chains for the material used to build the trains, boats and even wind turbines of the future.”

If you want your business to be a part of this journey, get in touch with EMR’s EV Battery Recycling team today.

For more information on EMR, visit


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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 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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