Sam Haig, Battery Recycling Business Manager at R S Bruce Metals & Machinery Ltd, based in the UK considers all aspects of why being prepared for the arrival of electric vehicles (EVs and HEVs) to our yards is of the utmost importance now.
Electric vehicles have been on our driveways and streets for many years now, and it will not be long before they start to turn up at ATFs for recycling. In fact, many readers may have already seen several hybrids or even full-electric vehicles arriving on the weighbridge.
With this new technology comes an array of challenges for recyclers. What are you doing to get ready for them?
The primary concern is, of course, safety; lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles are a complex mix of materials, some of which are extremely hazardous. The risks of fire from these batteries as well as the similar ones used in many WEEE items are well-documented throughout the ATF sector. The other element that is often missed is that when batteries set on fire or are damaged, they can release harmful and corrosive chemicals such as hydrogen fluoride.