Automotive recycling is set to grow over the next five years.  European estimates suggest the global car recycling market will reach EUR 221 billion by 2025.  This compares with the 2018 market of EUR 69.7 billion.  This represents a compound annual growth rate of 18%.   ‘Market Insights’ recent report suggests that ‘huge downstream demand’ is driving the development of vehicle recycling.

The biggest market is North America.  Strong automotive recycling industries also exist in the Asia Pacific region, Europe and Australia.  While metals and polymers are both important materials for car recyclers, metal recycling accounted for 74% of total returns in 2018.

UK ban announced

The UK has recently announced a move to ban the selling of new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars by 2035.  Consumers will only be able to buy electric or hydrogen cars and vans, once the ban comes into effect.  This is part of the UK’s move to be carbon neutral by 2050.  The details around how the network of electric cars will be expanded throughout the country are still sketchy.  AA (Automobile Association) have supported the move to clean up air quality and reduce CO2 emissions, but feel the 2035 target date is incredibly challenging.  Mike Hawes, CEO of the society of motor manufacturers and traders (SMMT) feel the governments has ‘moved the goalposts’.  Many in the industry feel the new technology still represents only a fraction of sales and that an acceleration of an already challenging ambition is foolhardy.

The implications of this strategy to UK industry are significant.  The Federal Government looking at its strategy around carbon emissions and we can expect similar debate in Australia.  The economics of electrical charging outside cities is still to be worked out.

Depending on the reactions of the big 4 and Tesla the UK governments strategy may well accelerate technological change.  This will provide further impetus to an already booming auto recycling industry.

Recycal  and its associated companies have invested in new technologies to adapt to a changing market place.  In particular the move away from petrol powered cars to electric ones has major implications on recycling strategies, particularly for batteries.  Recycal through their Ecobatt business have the technology to recycle batteries safely from electric cars.


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