Recycling and reuse at GBD (Grønvolds Bil-Demontering AS): Sustainable electric vehicle (EV) dismantling in practice in the automotive industry.
Autoretur recently published its Environmental Report for 2022, where the figures show very good measurements for reuse. The proportion of re-use of car parts has increased significantly, with a recycling rate of almost 98%.
Car parts that are dismantled from scrapped vehicles are resold as used car parts, resulting in large reductions in CO₂ emissions. Reuse of parts of steel in 2022 saved 37,000 tonnes of CO₂ and 130 GWh.
As a central player in this circular economy, Grønvolds Demoring operates in Brumunddal; with over 1,500 insurance cars dismantled annually, they create a more sustainable car industry. Managing director Morten Dalen explains how this works in practice:
GBD has an extensive collaboration with insurance players all over the country. When a car is notified as scrap, we pay an agreed price and collect it from the insurance company. The car then becomes part of the important circular economy.
On arrival at GBD, each insurance car undergoes a careful process of environmental clean-up. First, all hazardous waste is removed, including fuel, liquids and batteries.
These materials then enter a separate cycle, so that they can be handled in a responsible and environmentally friendly way. The valley also shares:
“We were probably among the first to dismantle a Tesla in Norway. Many probably looked at us strangely and thought it was madness, but we now see that it wasn’t so stupid after all.”
This is how electric car batteries are recycled in Norway:
- The car collectors receive a wrecked car with high-energy batteries
- The car collectors take out the batteries and assess whether they should be recycled or reused
- A battery to be recycled is sent to Stena Recycling AS Batteri or Batteriretur Høyenergi AS
- Stena Recycles the battery or Batteri returns, and Høyenergi checks the status of the battery, discharges it and reuses the power
- Pick apart the battery, and the outer materials, plastic, cables, and metal, go to normal recycling
- The battery cells enter the fragmentation plant, and the valuable metals are separated out
- The valuable metals (lithium, cobalt, manganese) are reused – for example, in new batteries
An important factor for GBD is traceability. Dalen points out the importance of being able to follow the parts back to their origin. This is particularly important when it comes to electric and hybrid cars that contain valuable components, including high-capacity batteries. GBD has established a system to diagnose and create condition reports for each car that comes in, so they can ensure tracking of the parts.
Grønvolds Bil-demontering AS has thousands of parts from scrapped and condemned cars in stock. They manually decide which parts to take care of, based on value and demand. Some cars go directly to storage without parts being picked, and these are placed in a shelving system outdoors for easy access when requests for parts come in. This unique system, developed by Jan Grønvold, ensures efficiency and organization.
Jan Grønvold says:
“It’s fun when people come here to learn. We get more out of scrap cars today than a few years ago.”
When the cars on the shelves are emptied or too old, they are pressed and sent for ordinary recycling. This process ensures that even after the serviceable parts are taken care of, the rest of the car is handled responsibly.
One of the most impressive aspects of Grønvolds Bil-Demontering AS is the access they provide to customers. Every single part that is picked from the cars is quality checked, photographed and registered in an extensive database. This means that the parts are accessible to both private individuals and professional stakeholders.
Read the full report from Autoretur here.
This article originally appeared at gbd.no/elbildemontering and was translated using Google Translate.