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

Adam Hewitt
SYNETIQ
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Environment and Climate Change Committee Urges Government Focus on UK EV Recycling Investment

A recently published report, ‘EV strategy: rapid recharge needed’ from the Environment and Climate Change Committee, urges the Government to prioritise investment in UK electric vehicle (EV) recycling. This investment aims to ensure responsible recycling practices and maximise the recovery of critical materials from EV batteries for domestic production purposes.

 

Environment and Climate Change Committee Urges Government Focus on UK EV Recycling Investment soc
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Transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) is crucial for the Government to meet its legally binding net zero target by 2050. While progress has been made with commitments to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035 and the introduction of the Zero Emission Vehicles mandate, significant barriers persist.

Currently, EVs represent only 3% of all cars on UK roads, and they remain more expensive than traditional fuel vehicles. Moreover, the availability of public charging points varies greatly, leading to consumer anxiety about reliable, affordable, and fast charging options.

Calls for clearer communication and stronger leadership from the Government have been voiced, highlighting concerns about misinformation. Consumers require accessible, balanced information to make informed decisions about their vehicles amidst conflicting claims.

Despite the benefits of transitioning to EVs, including noise reduction and improved air quality, there’s a need for urgent action. The Prime Minister acknowledged the necessity for more time to address remaining challenges and urged the Government to publish a roadmap outlining steps through 2035.

The Committee recommends several key actions for the Government:

  • Tackle the disparity in upfront costs between electric and petrol and diesel cars, by introducing targeted grants to support consumers buying affordable models.
  • Turbo-charge the charging infrastructure rollout by reviewing outdated and disproportionate planning regulations and tackling delays in the rollout of key public funding programmes.
  • Ensure charging is reasonably priced, convenient, and reliable by equalising VAT rates for domestic and public charging.
  • Invest in UK recycling to ensure that recycling is undertaken by responsible operators and that the UK is able to recoup as many of the critical materials contained in EV batteries as possible for its own domestic production.

Chapter 5 of the report addresses the imminent challenges in EV end-of-life management and recycling. As EV numbers surge, the UK’s dismantling capacity may soon be overwhelmed. Recommendations urge collaboration with the Environment Agency and the recycling sector to expedite planning for new treatment facilities. Highlighting the unique hazards of lithium-ion batteries, suggestions include assigning them a hazardous waste code and strengthening producer responsibility regulations. 

Moreover, there’s a call for enhancing battery reuse regulations and investing in black mass processing to retain critical materials. Urgent actions are proposed, including increasing recycled content targets, fostering domestic gigafactories, and bolstering Environment Agency resources. Enhanced coordination across government departments is deemed essential for effective waste management and recycling strategies.

See the report below:

Source committees.parliament.uk

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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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