Over 220 delegates from 24 countries recently attended the International Automobile Recycling Congress (IARC) that took place in Vienna, Austria. The two day event covered all factors connected to the recycling of vehicles; with future material being high on the agenda as well as the shift towards EVs and the preparation of the inevitable recycling of EV batteries.
It was very much a conference that focused on the current issues affecting vehicle recycling from all over the world. But as with any progressive industry, there was much discussion revolving around the prediction and preparation of the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead.
The two day event opened with Manfred Beck, the steering parties chairman, who looked back on the 19 years of the ELV Directive and what affects it has had on the industry; a topic that was brought up-to-date later that morning when Artemis Hatzi-Hull from the European Commission bought the delegates attention to the upcoming review of the directive. Whilst Jens Warsen from the ACEA discussed what potential changes may take to the directive itself.
Focus on dismantling was provided by Hank Jan Nix from EGARA who highlighted the importance that the vehicle dismantling and salvage industry plays within the circular economy and the issues it faces at the present time.
Jason Cross from SYNETIQ discussed the risks and rewards for vehicle recyclers when it came to Hybrid and Electric Vehicles. Within the same session, Andy Latham from Salvage Wire stepped into the future with a presentation that looked at the role telematics and data sharing will play as vehicle technology progresses.
A world wide view about vehicle recycling was brought into perspective with several presentations from representatives from various countries. Olaf Pusch from TSR Recycling looked at the challenges and opportunities facing German recyclers, Dr. Lakshmi Raghupathy from India described how social changes in her country was facing challenges on how to adapt as more vehicles come to their end of life. Argentina was represented by Maximiliano Marques who described the country’s automotive recycling industry as being in danger from unfair practice and corruption.
Representatives from major car companies showed their responsibility to environmental concerns and commitment to the circular economy. Renault, Toyota and Volvo all discussed their visions of a sustainable future and their realisations as to how the views of consumers were changing to what they considered important when purchasing vehicles. They were also keen to stress how new materials and technology will play a part in future vehicles and how they were committed to the safety to all of those involved in the vehicle recycling industry.
The future of plastics and E-mobility was also high on the agenda at the conference. Jannick Sercu from GALLOO Plastics provided information on how ELVs become valuable plastic compounds. Charles Stuych from Umicore looked at the importance of recycling to support the growth of EVs. Zhanqi Wang from ACCUREC also supplied some predictions of when to expect to see more EV vehicles entering dismantling as they reach their end of life. An overall view through the whole event was that at the moment the amount EVs needing to be recycled was low but all figures suggest that this was to change dramatically.
The IARC provided a mass of knowledge and thought provoking items to all those in attendance. Plus it provided much opportunity for delegates to discuss amongst themselves current issues with people at the forefront of the industry. Over the coming months ATF Professional will be bringing you more from the show as we take a closer look at the main talking points from the conference.
The IARC will travel to Geneva in 2020. You can contact the organisers of the event at www.icm.ch