Neil Joslin – COO, e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management has called on the salvage and recycling industry to proactively collaborate on the management of EVs and Hybrids. Electrification of road transport is building rapid momentum. PwC predicts 1 in 8 newly registered cars in Great Britain in 2021 are likely to be electric or hybrid.
Joslin has proposed the formation of an industry steering group, made up of committed representatives from across the market which will work as a collective to agree industry standards linked to qualifications and certification for the management and dismantling of vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. The steering group would work to support the Vehicle Recyclers’ Association [VRA] and seek to engage with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders [SMMT], Thatcham and appropriate industry bodies to gain insight and input from the relevant parties to inform decision making.
Issues for the steering group to consider could include:
- The creation of an industry standard and certification which covers all aspects of salvage and recycling operations related to EV and Hybrid management, to include recovery, storage, dismantling and recycling;
- The requirements of an associated modular training programme and annual audit aligned to the new industry standard;
- The creation of industry best practice guidelines for the dismantling and recycling of EVs and Hybrids, akin to the guidelines currently being produced for the repair market;
- The need for clarity and criteria regarding battery damage parameters and safe recycling of lithium-ion batteries;
- The need for guidelines, to ensure public safety and avoid potential liability, related to the sale of appropriate salvage category EVs and Hybrids at auction. Currently there is no requirement for a buyer to produce a certificate of competency to work with a vehicle that is powered by volatile lithium-ion batteries.
e2e has included EV/Hybrid protocols in its Member’s Agreement and Minimum Standards Annual Audit to assist members and ensure consistency across the network. These cover training & competence; access and adherence to manufacturer information; recovery protocols; use of appropriate PPE; damage inspection; damage recording & seeking expert advice; vehicle shut down requirements; storage and moving the vehicle. Other providers may have done similar but without market consistency the credibility of the salvage and recycling supply chain remains open to question.
Joslin explains: “As salvage and recycling agents the combustion engines we already deal with can be dangerous, but we have well established skills and safety knowledge. The lithium-ion batteries that power EVs are recognised as volatile and require specific and careful handling. Consequently, new liability risks are emerging for our businesses which must be judiciously considered and mitigated. The new market conditions represent new opportunities for our industry and our individual organisations. But service consistency is critical. None of us wants to see a repeat of the service inconsistencies linked to the early days of reclaimed parts and the resulting reputational damage that as an industry we have worked hard to overcome. Taking a proactive, unified, strategic position on EVs and Hybrids demonstrates that we are a mature service provider market. Rather than waiting to be told what to do, let’s use a collective voice to demonstrate the value in our knowledge and expertise and take a seat at the decision making table.”
As an industry initiative, formal Terms of Reference for the Steering Group will need to be discussed and agreed. To register interest in finding out more please use this link