Europe’s second-largest vehicle maker PSA Peugeot Citroën has outlined its process for recycling end-of-life vehicles (ELV) in a new video. In the short film, PSA demonstrates how circular economy principles are being deployed in a practical way to recover all useful materials from an ELV. This PSA story demonstrates the benefits of working with steel in a circular economy.
In January 2016, PSA published a video about end-of-life vehicles management at PSA Peugeot Citroën. Watch the YouTube video by clicking the image above.
PSA considers ELV management during the design phase of the vehicle’s lifecycle. Material selection is based on recycling potential in accordance with the principles of the circular economy.
Around 300,000 ELVs per year are recycled by PSA. The first stage in the process includes collection of the vehicle and delivery to a PSA facility where it is ‘de-polluted’. In this step, the battery, tires, and liquids are recovered by accredited companies who reuse or recycle them.
Parts which are still in working condition, such as engines or windscreens, are removed from the ELV. These recovered parts are then sold on the second-hand market to consumers or other businesses.
Once all of the reusable items are recovered, the ELV is sent for compaction. The compacted ELV, now known as a hulk, is then shredded into small pieces for easy sorting.
Around 75% of the vehicle is made up of metals, mainly steel. Every iron or steel part is recovered after shredding using a magnet. This material can be fully recycled to create a new wind turbine, a washing machine, or... the next generation of PSA car.
Other metals must be sorted and separated from plastics using more complex technology. Plastics, which account for 20% of the vehicle, are recovered last. Some is sent for recycling, while the remainder is often utilised to produce energy.
ArcelorMittal is committed to work with OEMs and other partners in the automotive industry to implement the principles of the circular economy.
We support initiatives such as the European Union’s recent Circular Economy Package which aims to close the product lifecycle loop through increased recycling and reuse.
PSA is not alone in its efforts to recycle ELV cars. The UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recently launched a scheme to recover and process ‘orphaned’ ELVs. These are vehicles which were manufactured by an OEM which no longer exists.
Under the scheme, orphan ELVs are collected from around the UK by SMMT’s recycling partner Autogreen. The ELVs are then disposed of in a safe, environmentally friendly way. Autogreen estimates there are around 700,000 orphaned vehicles waiting to be recycled.