The total number of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) reported in the EU in 2020, the latest year for data, shows a 10.5% fall on the year before to 5.4 million.
The European Commission says that after sharp rises from 4.8 million in 2016 to 5.3 million in 2017 and then to 6.1 million in 2018, the number of ELVs decreased for two consecutive years. The record high was in 2009 with 7.7 million, after which several governments established short-term subsidies for scrapping programmes to incentivise the dismantling of older vehicles during the financial crisis. Three member states held scrapping schemes in 2008, rising to 12 in 2009 and back to one a year later.
Reuse and recycling targets
Since 2015, member states have been required to meet rates for reuse and recycling of ≥ 85% and for reuse and recovery of ≥ 95%, by average weight per vehicle. In 2020, the reuse and recycling rate for ELVs in the EU stood at 90.5%, one percentage point higher than in 2019 and 3.2 percentage points higher than in 2018.
Fifteen states reported reuse and recycling rates of 90.0% or above in 2020, with another nine in the range 85.0%-89.9 %. Three states reported rates falling in the range of 84.6% to 84.9% – Italy, Finland and Latvia.
The commission press release setting out the data says the picture is relatively similar for the reuse and recovery rate.
Regulation update due
In 2020, EU ELVs were estimated to have a total vehicle weight of 6.3 million tonnes, according to their registration papers. This was higher than the 5.7 million tonnes reported in 2017 but down 9.2 % compared to 2019 when it was 6.9 million tonnes, the highest volume recorded since 2009.
The data covers passenger cars with up to eight place and driver, and good vehicles up to a weight of 3.5 tonnes.
A new ELV regulation updating the 20-year-old directive is expected within days.