Even though most new cars are still fossil fuel orientated, there is no doubt that eventually electric cars will be the norm. This may create new challenges for the breaker yard or recycling world, who would normally offer cash for your end of life or scrap car.
Let’s remind ourselves what happens to a scrap car in current times. Normally a car is taken off the road at the end of its useful life or when repairs become more expensive than worth, except for vehicles involved in a serious road traffic accident. These cars are often bought a salvage auction, or directly from the owner. The purpose is to re-sell useful parts, melt down the valuable metals left, this is where the profit is. If you have a car to dispose of you can use a website like https://www.scrap-car.co.uk, in the UK.
However, there are still a lost of cost to these vehicle re-cyclers. Things they cannot resell and happen to be made of plastic or contain harmful chemicals, will create extra cost any breaker yard, as there are legal requirements to disposal of these materials so all this must be taken in to account.
How Will, We Dispose of The Batteries
The new era of electric cars will create new challenges. For example, we know than when batteries eventually fail, it can be more expensive to replace than a second hand or even new fossil fuelled engine. Even when costs come down, there is still going to be the question of how long a battery car will last. A well serviced and maintained patrol or diesel engine can do hundreds of thousands of miles and history has shown that with further repairs, rebores etc, engines have driven over 1 million miles.
But this is an unlikely situation with the batteries used to power the car. They will contain harmful chemicals, that need to be disposed of correctly and legally. There are some valuable metals within these batteries, but it is unsure whether the cost of extracting the scrap metal will be worth the effort. So many breaker yards are wondering if breaking down a car down for its parts will be worth it, if they no longer have an engine to sell, but do have the extra cost of re-cycling the batteries. The point is that electric cars may have shorter lifespan than fossil fuelled ones. Electric motors we use in a commercial environment, may have a 10 year lifespan, yet there are millions of vehicles in the UK that are over 10 years old still going strong.
Take Back Schemes
In the UK there are take back schemes run by the car manufacturers. The plan is for them to take responsibility for any of their own scrap cars, by recycling them for free. This takes care of the legal side of any car, but it is normal to receive some sort of payment for that scrap car currently. In the future all scrap cars, may be taken to a tack back facility, where the vehicle is “given” to be broken down and scrapped officially. So, the cash for scrap cars businesses may just not exist in 20 years’ time, we will have to wait and see.