On July 13th, the European Commission officially proposed measures to strengthen the recyclability of the automotive industry, covering the design, production, and disposal of automobiles. This measure will accelerate the EU's achievement of its environmental and climate goals, while strengthening the EU's single market competitiveness, and help the EU address the challenges related to the continuous transformation of the automotive industry.
The automotive industry is one of the most resource intensive industries. The automotive industry in Europe accounts for 10% of the total plastic consumption, equivalent to 6 million tons per year. In addition, the industry accounts for a significant share of demand for steel (17%, approximately 7 million tons per year), aluminum (42% for all transportation equipment, approximately 2 million tons per year), and copper (6% for automotive parts). The electrification of automobiles will further increase the demand for key raw materials such as rare earths. In Europe, over 6 million cars are scrapped and treated as waste every year. Improper handling of vehicles at the end of their service life can cause pollution and cost money. Recent evaluations indicate that improving the sustainability of vehicle production and disposal is urgent. In order to achieve the EU's climate and resilience goals, automobile production must take a sustainable and decarbonized path, reducing dependence on primary resources. How to make new cars more sustainable and recyclable is crucial for addressing resource dependence, reducing environmental impacts, and promoting reuse and recycling at the end of vehicle lifespan.
As early as 2019, in the European Green New Deal, the European Commission put forward the goal of accelerating the transition to sustainable and smart travel. The greenhouse gas emissions generated by transportation account for 1/4 of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions, and their proportion continues to rise. In order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality, the EU's zero emission and low emission vehicle ownership will reach 13 million vehicles by 2025, requiring approximately 1 million public charging and gas stations; By 2050, the transportation industry still needs to reduce emissions by 90%. Realizing sustainable transportation means putting consumers first and providing more affordable, accessible, and healthy and clean modes of transportation to replace their existing travel habits. In the EU Action Plan for the New Circular Economy in March 2020, the European Commission proposed to modify the relevant regulations on scrapped vehicles, focusing on linking design issues with the treatment of scrapped vehicles, and considering imposing mandatory regulations on the content of recycled components on certain component materials to improve the efficiency of recycling.
The proposed new regulations cover all aspects of vehicles, from their design, launch on the market, to the final disposal process when scrapped:
1. Improve the cycle design of vehicles to facilitate the reuse and recycling of materials, parts, and components;
2. Ensure that at least 25% of the plastic used for vehicle manufacturing is recycled plastic (of which 25% comes from recycled end-of-life vehicles);
3. Recycling more and better quality raw materials, including key raw materials, plastics, steel, and aluminum;
4. Ensure that manufacturers take financial responsibility for vehicles when they become waste, provide appropriate funding for mandatory disposal of scrapped vehicles, and motivate recyclers to improve quality;
Contact Person: Mr. Fan