It is said that in life all good things have to come to an end and same holds true for vehicles too. As a vehicle is a depreciating asset and comes with a fixed life cycle, the term end of life vehicle is used to depict the same. In many countries, ELVs are subject to regulations that calls for their safe disposal and recycling. Today, we will talk about what is end of life vehicle directive & why its important to know the same.

What is End of Life Vehicle?

What is End of Life VehicleAs mentioned above everything has an end. Some things perish earlier while others take time but they all do. So when we ask the question what is end of life vehicle it refers to those vehicles that have reached the end of their lives. These need to be stripped or wrecked as they might not even be operational in most cases because of a breakdown from within the system.

Once a thing is beyond saving it is time to let go and that is exactly what you do with an end of life vehicle. However, these vehicles may still have a use in the sense that they can be recycled.

What are Some Facts and Figures Related to ELVs?

Now, who doesn’t like a few statistics? We surely do and that is why just knowing what is end of life vehicle doesn’t satisfy us, thus we now present to you some facts and figures related to the ELVs that may help put certain things into perspective.

  • North America sees almost 12 million vehicles becoming ELV each year and so they are taken out of use.
  • As much as 75% of an ELV can be recycled.
  • 42% of the steel in the US indeed comes from recycled metal.
  • Using recycled metal makes sure that up to 74% of energy and 40% of water consumption is saved while air pollution and water pollution are reduced by 86% and 76% respectively.
  • Canada sees 5 to 6% of vehicles going off the road each year of which 400 to 500k vehicles are from Ontario alone.
  • The UK sees two million vehicles go out of use each year.

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What is End of Life Vehicles Directive?

The end-of-life vehicles Directive (ELV Directive) sets direct targets for end-of-life vehicles as well as their components. This directive forbids the use of hazardous substances when manufacturing new vehicles (especially cadmium, mercury, lead, and hexavalent chromium). However, in case there are no adequate alternatives, the directive does allow defined exemptions. These exemptions are listed annex II of the ELV Directive.

Several amendments have been made since this Directive was introduced. Additionally, the EU has introduced several other such rules, like the Directive on the type-approval of motor vehicles regarding their reusability, recyclability, and recoverability.

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What is the Objective of End of Life Vehicles Directive?

The ELV Directive sets clear targets for the reuse, recycling, and recovery of end-of-life vehicles. The directive aims to-

  • Limit as well as prevent waste from end-of-life vehicles as well as their components.
  • Enhance the environmental performance of all economic operators having associations with the life-cycle of vehicles.

What are End of Life Vehicles Regulations?

These are the End of Life Vehicles Regulations-

1. Producer Registration

If any producer is manufacturing or importing cars or small vans (classed as M1 or N1), they must register with Defra. If you want to register, you’ll need to send the following information to the ELV Registrations Unit:

  • Name of your business
  • Name, telephone number, and address of your main place of business or registered office
  • Address for serving notices (if the address is different from above)
  • Description of the vehicles you are declaring responsibility for placing on the market

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2. Materials and Components

Materials and components for small vans and cars must not contain lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, or mercury. But in case there are no adequate alternatives for these materials, the directive does allow defined exemptions based on Annex II of the ELV Directive 2000/53/EC. However, this requirement doesn’t apply to the spares, service, or replacement parts of vehicles placed on the UK market prior to 1 July 2003.

Certain rubber and plastic parts weighing over 200 grams (except tires) needs to be marked according to the regulations to promote their reuse, recycling, and recovery.

Technical documents showing that the vehicles, components, and materials comply with the heavy metals restrictions as well as marking standards for rubber and plastic parts must be retained for nearly four years.

Within six months of placing any new type of vehicle in the UK market, public information should be provided on the materials as well as any hazardous substances it uses. Additionally, there should be guidance on how to dismantle, reuse, or recover the components of the vehicle. All potential buyers should be able to access this information through manuals, promotional literature, websites, etc.

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3. Free Take Back

The vehicle producer needs to provide a convenient network of AFTs (authorized treatment facilities). They must make acceptable alternative arrangements that offer free take-back for their brands when they become ELVs.

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4. Recovery and Recycling Targets

Producers should meet the annual targets of their brands. Currently, 85 percent of recycling and 95 percent by average recycling weight of each ELV. ATFs need to take the responsibility for meeting the annual targets if they accept vehicles outside a producer’s free take-back network. Every year, detailed rates on reuse, recycling, and recovery need to be submitted to Defra.

So now we know what is end of life vehicle and what needs to be done with them. The EU’s end of life vehicles regulations seems to have been very effective ever since they were proposed and adopted. It is safe to say that all the countries out there can be doing so much better if they could chart out similar directives and abide by them especially after looking at the facts and figures of ELVs in places like the US and Canada.

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Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet's long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.

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