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Canadian EV webinar provides food for thought with participants joining from around the world

Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada provides his thoughts on yesterday’s (4th November) webinar – CANADIAN EV / HYBRID AUTO RECYCLING – Recycling – A New Beginning, that focused on the role auto recyclers will play as Canada adopts electric vehicles that he and Haydn Davies, Editor of Auto Recycling World hosted.

When we started planning for a webinar to present the views of the auto recycling sector on the electrification trends in the vehicle fleet in Canada, I thought that getting 50 people to listen to our story would be a great event.

Well participation blew us away when 190 registered and 145 ended up logging in for some part of the 3-hour event. It seemed like the world was ready to hear from auto recyclers.

In addition to working auto recyclers from across Canada (and a few from around the world), we had a great cross-section from governments (both Federally and Provincially), automakers, associations, researchers, policy analysts, and battery buyers and processors. Much of the supply chain showed up.

Our first speaker was Joanna Kyriazis, Senior Policy Advisor with Clean Energy Canada, to set the backdrop of EV Policy in Canada, and to show that Canada and Canadians are very active in working towards electrification and all of the small, medium and large steps required to get there – together somehow.

I was up next as Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada national association to try to provide state of the auto recycling industry now and where gaps exist to get the sector or as much of the sector that wants to embrace the future, EV ready. While ICE vehicles will be on the road for a long time, many auto recyclers (both dismantlers and scrap processors) are making the pivot to handle these remarkably different vehicles. Different vehicles, but this is an industry that continually has to evolve to successfully process all new vehicles the manufacturers make.

Jeff Haltrecht, with Call2Recycle, and one of the event Sponsors, talked about battery storage logistics, and pricing. I think this was the first time this subject has been broached publicly and Jeff put numbers and forecasts behind every concept.

Unfortunately, the virtual webinar gremlins ate Ken Hendricks access to the event, but I stepped in to fill in on the tremendous steps the BC based Automotive Retailers Association  Auto Recycling Division is taking to generate and distribute state-of-the art training and education tools and resources for the EV dismantling industry. It all starts with safety, BC has been leading Canada’s charge in generating this valuable information. Fortunately much of Ken’s presentation would have highlighted the availability and distribution of these assets that will be handled via a direct push to delegates via email (and posting on the Auto Recycling World website).

Kunal Phalpher, Chief Commercial Officer with Li-cycle, provided an overview of the tremendous success his company has made in making final battery recycling safe, efficient and hopefully profitable for everyone. Li-cycle is a Canadian success story and Kunal inspired confidence that the challenges of battery recycling can and will be overcome – turning a problem in to an opportunity.

Hans Eric Melin, Managing Director of Circular Energy Storage, a UK-based consulting group on everything EV battery related, wrapped up the event with a stunning display of knowledge, insight, experience – and Data. I consider Hans Eric to be the globe’s foremost expert on EV battery end-of-life management, and he did not disappoint. The comment that resonated with me the most – “The market is the opinion.” You can have all the ideas in the world about how you would like something to work, but by following and understanding the data – which  Circular Energy Storage has boatloads of, you will understand what is really happening – and what might need to happen. Hans Eric also had cautionary notes to make about outside regulations – the unintended consequences of poorly thought out regulations, especially when trying to predict their impact 10 years down the road, can have the exact opposite effect that you desire.

All in all, it was a great day. So many people, new to our industry, heard about how it works and what we need to be working on to fit in to the future electric world (which is here today). I will be weeks on the follow up, but worth every minute.

Auto Recycling World will be posting the webinar recordings for all to enjoy, and we will be pushing out and posting some of the requested resources, and answering any submitted questions.

Special thanks to our Sponsors – Call2Recycle, Impact Auto Auctions/IAA, Progi, along with all the work that Hadyn and Sian did behind the scenes to make this event work.

Originally appeared in Auto Recycling World.

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