In June 2023, the European Commission presented a new regulation on end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). The regulation aims to improve the recovery and recycling of ELVs and reduce the environmental impact of ELVs. In this article, Mathieu Millet, President of Evalucar France – specialists in total loss vehicle management, provides his thoughts on the ELV regulation and looks at its potential benefits and challenges.
The European Union has been a leader in the fight against waste, and the automotive industry is no exception. In the early 2000s, the EU adopted a regulation on end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) that set strict standards for the recycling of used cars.
The new regulation, which was recently proposed by the European Commission, goes even further. It includes a number of measures designed to make ELV recycling even more efficient and environmentally friendly.
These measures include:
- Modifying design rules to facilitate parts recycling
- Requiring manufacturers to provide dismantlers with suitable documentation
- Deepening the logic of extended producer responsibility, involving manufacturers in every step of the recycling chain
- Mandating certain rates of recycled materials in vehicle production
- Restricting conditions for exporting used vehicles outside of Europe
- These measures are expected to have a number of positive benefits. They will help to:
- Develop the recycling industry and create jobs
- Recover valuable materials from ELVs, such as plastic, steel, aluminum, and rare earths
- Reduce CO2 emissions
However, the new regulation also raises some questions. One concern is the impact of the new regulations on production costs. Each new regulation, such as the anti-pollution Euro VI and VII standards, has significant industrial implications. This could ultimately make cars less competitive.
Another concern is whether the new framework will apply to all vehicles sold in the EU or only those produced there. If the framework only applies to vehicles produced in the EU, this could create a severe distortion with non-European manufacturers.
Ultimately, the new regulation is a critical moment for the European automotive industry. It will require the industry to make significant changes, but it also has the potential to make the industry more sustainable and competitive.
Two Philosophical Stances
There are two possible philosophical stances that can be taken on the new regulation. One is to complain that the car remains the scapegoat of the 21st century, the shameful child of our consumer society. The other is to consider that this adversity is a (painful but effective) way to build a center of excellence. An industry that is capable of responding to the major issues of our time and thus inspiring the rest of the industry.
The future of the European automotive industry is uncertain, but the new regulation is a step in the right direction. It will be up to the industry to decide whether it will use this opportunity to become more sustainable and competitive.