In this lesson, we will explore key statistics related to end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), their environmental impact, and the challenges faced by the industry.

  1. Growing Challenge of Vehicle Recycling
  • The constant annual growth of vehicles in use presents a significant challenge for the vehicle recycling industry.
  • Often, the prescribed norms and directives are not fully met, leading to the accumulation of waste from the automotive industry.
  • The rapid rise of electric vehicles, coupled with plans to phase out fossil fuel vehicles, is expected to exacerbate environmental issues related to vehicle waste.
  1. ELVs in EU Countries (2008-2018)
  • Despite manufacturers’ efforts to meet demand, data from 2018 indicates that a substantial gap exists between the number of vehicles sold (15.46 million) and those removed from traffic (6 million).
  1. Discrepancy Between Manufactured and ELVs
  • Figure 13 highlights the significant difference between the number of manufactured vehicles and end-of-life vehicles in EU Member States from 2008 to 2018.
  • Annually, approximately 14.96 million new vehicles are produced.
  1. Mass Recoverability Rate
  • Directive 2000/53/EC defines the mass recoverability rate for vehicles, increased from 85% to 95% of the total mass in 2015.
  • From 2015 to 2018, EU countries did not consistently achieve the satisfactory recoverability rate, despite success in some nations.
  1. Recyclability Rate
  • The recyclability rate, also prescribed by Directive 2000/53/EC (85% from 2015), was consistently met across the EU until 2018, though some countries lag behind.
  1. Total Mass of ELVs (2008-2018)
  • Approximately 560,000 tonnes of unusable vehicle material accumulate in Europe after vehicle recycling.
  1. ELV Recycling in France (2016)
  • In 2016, France processed 1,046,083 vehicles, averaging 1,065.78 kilograms each.
  • The total vehicle mass entering the recycling process in France in 2016 was 1,114,988.5 tonnes, with 92.4% of them being passenger vehicles averaging 18.2 years old.
  • Figure 21 shows the origin of vehicles entering the recycling process, with nearly half being individually owned.
  1. Waste Accumulation and Recovery
  • The decontamination process generated 28,340 tonnes of vehicle waste in 2016, 71% of which was recycled.
  • Approximately 3.4% of ELV mass comprised tires (37,907 tonnes), with only 25% recycled and 37% reusable.
  • A total of 96,189 tonnes of parts were dismantled, potentially reusable, with an average of 92 kilograms per vehicle.
  • After dismantling, 80,426 tonnes were prepared for recycling or recovery.
  1. Non-Metallic Material Recovery
  • An average of 71% of non-metallic material was recovered in shredders.
  1. Recycling Challenges
  • Figure 24 highlights the challenges posed by polymers and glass in recycling.
  • In 2016, France achieved an 86.9% recyclability rate (fulfilling the Directive’s norm) and a 94.8% recoverability rate (progress compared to the previous year).


  • ELV statistics provide valuable insights into the environmental impact of vehicle waste.
  • Challenges persist in achieving prescribed norms, with variations among EU countries.
  • Monitoring and improving ELV recycling rates are crucial for the automotive industry’s sustainability.
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