ELV Environmental Services (ELVES), a non-profit company set up by vehicle manufacturers to increase the percentage of end-of-life cars being properly scrapped and recycled, has been awarded Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding for a new initiative to investigate the recycling of end-of-life electric vehicles.
What EV parts can be reused?
ELVES' Electric Loops project will see an electric vehicle being dismantled, with its parts evaluated to understand their value for reuse and recycling. The scheme is intended to help Authorised Treatment Facilities (a.k.a. scrapyards) and metal recyclers develop processes for the breaking down and recycling of electric vehicles and their components in the future. Electric vehicle battery packs could, for example, be removed after scrapping to be repurposed for small-scale renewable energy storage.
Since 2018 ELVES has operated the Electric ELVES programme, providing take-back and recycling of electric vehicle batteries, as well as training and information support on the handling of electric and hybrid vehicles. The latest Electric Loops project essentially represents an extension of that programme, set against the backdrop of recent government announcements about Ireland boosting the level of "circularity" - reuse of items and their constituent materials - in its economy.
Some 75 per cent of the cars and small vans recycled in Ireland are scrapped through authorised facilities in the ELVES network. More than 95 per cent of end-of-life vehicles in Ireland are recovered, with their parts recycled or reused.
Number of scrapped EVs to increase
"ELVES is very pleased to have been successful in our application to the EPA's Green Enterprise Programme for our Electric Loops project," said Fiacra Quinn, CEO of ELVES.
"We are expecting the volume of electric vehicles coming to end-of-life to significantly increase, and our ELV recycling industry needs to be prepared for this change. This project will provide important data enabling the recycling industry to capture the value in the recycling of these vehicles. It will also help Irish authorities to report on the levels of reuse and recycling undertaken."
The Electric Loops project will commence in February 2023 and will run until late 2024.