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

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EV Breakers: Pioneering the Future of Electric Vehicle Recycling

Calvin Beattie, Director of EV Breakers, traces his roots in vehicle recycling through a family legacy spanning three decades. From a mechanical engineering career to founding EV Breakers due to a shortage of specialised EV dismantlers, his journey signifies innovation. With remarkable growth from a two-person team to seven employees in three years, EV Breakers maximises EV value extraction. Calvin envisions widespread EV integration, emphasising the need for industry-wide education and safety protocols.

 

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From Vehicle Recycling to EV Dismantling: A Legacy of Innovation

My father has been fixing and dismantling cars and working in the metal recycling industry for over 30 years. Growing up with the business, it was inevitable that I would end up here someday. After finishing university and starting a career in mechanical engineering, I bought a salvage Tesla Model S. As I went searching for parts, it was clear that no one in the UK or Ireland was specialising in dismantling EVs. I had to buy all the parts new from Tesla, resulting in the car costing me an absolute fortune! Before I had the car finished, I quit my job, only being there for six months, and we started to acquire EVs for parts and started selling on our website and eBay store.

The Rising Tide of EVs: EV Breakers’ Growth Story

Since I started with the EVs, it was just me (with some help from my dad). I was taking phone calls, stripping, packaging and shipping parts to customers. The only time I could upload items to the website and eBay was on weekends. In just over three years, we now have seven full-time employees, with two more positions still needing to be filled.

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Calvin Beattie

Extracting Value from EVs: A Specialised Approach

As EVs are pretty much new cars, with the majority still less than three or four years old, there is always a high demand for body parts, especially front-end parts. Many people are repairing salvage EVs as the used EV car market is quite small, and the resale value is still high. Recently, we have noticed a demand for the gearbox/transmission within a few EVs, which are used as taxis in cities. This is due to wear and tear, as there are plenty of vehicles with over 100k miles. Other cars may cause trouble as some drivers have little mechanical sympathy.

Safety First: Ensuring Responsible EV Dismantling

All employees who physically work on the EVs are trained to ensure they know how to remove any HV component safely. When a new car arrives for parts, the first job is to remove the battery pack. This is vital for the safety of the employees, as we have had cars with damaged HV wiring and battery packs, which could be fatal. However, once removed, the car is safe to work on to remove all parts. Personally, I believe manufacturers aren’t doing enough to educate the motor trade about EVs and their HV parts.

Specialised Dismantling and Collaboration

As the volume of EVs increases on the roads worldwide, all breaker yards will inevitably come into contact with an EV. The problem is employees may not have been trained and don’t know how to make the vehicle safe before working on it. There should be specific breaker yards for breaking EVs with all workers trained, including office-based staff, who should know what procedures to follow in case an incident occurs.

Navigating the Write-Off Trend: EV Breakers’ Perspective

I believe insurance companies need to educate the assessors with more in-depth training, providing them with better knowledge and understanding of electric cars. Some written-off cars we see for parts may only have minor damage, but the assessor assigned to that car may have little to no knowledge of an EV, and maybe they think the safest solution is to make it a break-only car.

Gearing Up for a Brighter EV Future

As the industry continues to grow, it is extremely important that everyone who works with EVs gain the correct training according to their role. Over the next five years, I believe that almost every breaker across the UK and EU will have at least one EV in their yard. Getting the information out, providing knowledge and educating the workers on the safe procedures to follow will be the most difficult aspect as the volume of EVs greatly increases.

To find out more about EV Breakers, please visit www.evbreakers.com

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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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