Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


According to official estimates, around nine million end-of-life vehicles (ELV's -passenger cars) arise every year in the EU. They are recycled (metals) for an estimated 75% of total weight, while the remaining 25%, i.e. the shredding residue containing various mixed materials including hazardous substances, is land-filled for the most part. EL Vs abandoned in the environment, pollution arising from dismantling if not performed in appropriate ways, and landfilling of shredding residue are the main environmental externalities of ELV.

Starting from the European Commission's 'Community strategy for waste management' (1989), a process of regulation-making at the EU level for ELV went on during the 1990s. The Commission produced an EU directive proposal (1997), including quantitative targets for ELV recovery/reuse/recycling (RRR), materials' limitations, technical prescriptions on treatment, and economic instruments. After a very difficult debate between regulators and industry, the Council arrived at the common position of July 1999. After the second reading by Parliament in February 2000, the ELV directive is going to be adopted during 2000, whereas the car industry is still opposing some of its main provisions.

In parallel to EU regulation-making, most Member States implemented different forms of voluntary agreements for ELV management and/or national regulations that include the car industry and the other industries operating in ELV and car-making.

As a consequence of the expected directive and voluntary agreements based on industrial initiatives, a wide set of technological and organisational innovations took place in the ELV- related industries during the 1990s. Specific innovation ranges from the creation of ELV treatment infrastructures to design for dismantling and design for recycling. Innovation in ELV, however, has complex systemic features requiring interrelated changes to be undertaken by different industries operating in both car design and downs

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: EUR: 19598 EN (2000), 236pp, Euro: free of charge
Availability: DG-JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, W.T.C. Isla de la Cartuja, E-41092 Sevilla (ES) tel:+34-95-4488405 fax:+34-95-4488339
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