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

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Silverlake invests in state-of-the-art battery storage reflecting increase in end-of-life EVs and hybrids

Silverlake Automotive Recycling [Silverlake] has invested in state-of-the-art, bespoke lithium-ion battery storage containers as part of its fire risk assessment and mitigation strategy. The move reflects the 21% increase in end-of-life hybrid and EV vehicles the business has handled in the last 12 months. 


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Isolated battery storage containers at Silverlake Automotive Recycling

According to the National Fire Chiefs Council, the reignition of lithium-ion batteries is possible after prolonged periods, after mechanical shock, heating or battery faults. They may also require extended periods of cooling and monitoring after a fire or collision.  Addressing these risks, Silverlake’s battery storage containers have external temperature gauges which monitor the temperature inside the container, alerting staff to any issues before they open the container doors.  Internally, shelves house batteries of different makes and sizes and every shelf has its own fire suppression system. Each battery has its own compartment and an individual temperature gauge, testing the air temperature around the battery to indicate any problems with individual batteries.  Internal and external temperature gauges are checked and recorded by staff twice daily. Thermal imaging cameras are also fitted adjacent to the containers, providing 24-hour monitoring 365 days a year.  

In the event of a fire, external pipework feeds jets inside the storage container, enabling firefighters to attach their equipment directly to a dedicated external vent to pump water/foam into the container without having to open the container doors and allow oxygen to accelerate the fire. Hampshire and IOW Fire & Rescue Services are so impressed with the system they have donated long-length hoses, stored at Silverlake’s site, ready for use by firefighters.    

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Monitoring and recording individual battery temperatures

The battery storage containers are cited in a designated EV area, away from the EV workshop and other site infrastructure and offices, mitigating the fire risk to people, vehicle stock and Silverlake operations.  Swift and easy access for fire engines was also used to help determine their position.

Allen Prebble, managing director at Silverlake, said: 

“Fire risk safety and management is a priority at Silverlake. We saw this investment as an important step to future-proof our business and keep our people and facilities safe whilst addressing some of the potential fire risks associated with lithium-ion batteries. The Silverlake team has received full training on EV handling and working practices, and this training has been extended to include the use of the battery storage containers and monitoring, recording and escalation processes.

As part of the e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management network, we have been pleased to host site visits for other members to share our experience of these battery storage solutions, and we have received considerable interest from the wider market. We recently successfully passed our annual fire safety inspection, and the fire inspector was impressed by the design of the battery storage containers and the processes we have developed to gain maximum fire risk mitigation. We anticipate battery recycling will continue to be a growing revenue stream for our business as more EVs and hybrids hit the UK roads, and we plan to invest in further storage containers in 2024.”  

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Adam Hewitt

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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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