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Document 52021SC0060

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT EVALUATION of Directive (EC) 2000/53 of 18 September 2000 on end-of-life vehicles

SWD/2021/0060 final

Brussels, 15.3.2021

SWD(2021) 60 final




Directive (EC) 2000/53 of 18 September 2000 on end-of-life vehicles

{SWD(2021) 61 final}

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

1.1. Purpose

1.2. Scope

1.3. The ELV sector and the COVID-19 pandemic


2.1. Description of the initiative

2.1.1. Historic background and response to the ELV problematics

2.1.2. General purpose and objectives of the ELV Directive

2.1.3. Main provisions of the ELV Directive

2.2. Intervention Logic

2.3. Interactions with other EU policies and legislations

2.4. Baseline

3. Implementation and state of play

3.1. Implementation of ELV Directive

3.2. Key facts and figures relating to the ELV sector in the EU

4. Method

4.1. Evaluation questions

4.2. Process

4.3. Limitations – robustness of findings

5. Analysis and answers to the evaluation questions

5.1. Effectiveness

5.1.1. Have the objectives and targets of the ELV Directive been met and monitored?

5.1.2. A significant problem affecting the effectiveness of the ELV Directive: the “missing ELV”

5.2. Efficiency

5.2.1. Benefits and costs

5.2.2.Administrative burden and simplification opportunities


5.3.1.Scope of the ELV Directive

5.3.2.Increased use of electric, electronic and other components in vehicles

5.3.3.Increased use of lightweight materials in vehicles like plastics, carbon-fibres, fibre-reinforced (plastics) materials and others

5.3.4.Changes in the types of vehicles put on the EU market: increase of electric or hybrid vehicles and of SUV


5.4.1. To what extent is the ELV Directive internally coherent?

5.4.2. To what extent is the ELV Directive coherent with other EU policy instruments and the overall EU and international policy goals? with the EU approach to Circular Economy with the EU Climate change policy Framework Directive Convention and the Waste Shipment Regulation Conventionon Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the EU POPs Regulation on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and RoHS Directive Directive on Vehicle Registration Documents 2005/64/EC on the type-approval of motor vehicles regarding their reusability, recyclability and recoverability List of Waste

5.5.EU Added Value

6.5. Conclusions





6.5.EU added value72

6.6.Lessons learnt72

Annex 1: Procedural information73

Annex 2. Synopsis report of the stakeholder consultation76

Annex 3. Methods used in preparing the evaluation94

Annex 4. Technical information102

Annex 5. Analysis on the costs and benefits105


Term or acronym

Meaning or definition


European Association of Automobile Manufacturers


Automotive Shredder Residues


Authorised Treatment Facilities


Best available techniques


Battery Electric Vehicle

Batteries Directive

Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators


Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation ((EC) No 1272/2008)


Car Manufacturing Industry


Certificate of Destruction


European Commission


The European Chemicals Agency


European Economic Area


European Environment Agency


Electrical and electronic equipment


End-of-life vehicle

ELV Directive

Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on end-of life vehicles - Commission Statement (OJ L 269, 21.10.2000, p. 34–43). Directive as last amended by Directive (EU) 2018/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 (OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 141).




Extended Producer Responsibility


European List of Waste


Electric Vehicle


European Union


European Recycling Industries’ Confederation


Free take-back


Green House Gas


Internal Combustion Engine


International Material Data System


Inter-service Steering Group


Heavy Duty Vehicle (e.g. Trucks)

Li-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries


Light Shredder Residues


Member States as addressed by the WFD and the ELV Directive (‘Text with EEA relevance’): 27 Member States of the European Union plus 3 States of the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein)


Original Equipment Manufacturer


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle


Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive


Post-Shredder Technologies


Substance of Very High Concern


Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC


Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2011/65/EC, Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment


Small Medium Enterprise


Sport Utility Vehicle


Technical Advisory Committee


Terms of Reference


Voluntary Agreements

WEEE Directive

Directive 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)


Waste Framework Directive, Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain Directives (OJ L 312, 22.11.2008, p. 3) as last amended by Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 (OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 141).

WSR / WShipR

Waste Shipment Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste


Waste Statistics Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 on EU waste statistics



The purpose of this document is to present an evaluation of the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence relevance and EU added value of Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on end-of life vehicles 1 (hereinafter - ELV Directive).

Since its adoption in 2000, the ELV Directive has not undergone any substantial revision. With the adoption of the Waste Package in 2018 2 , a review clause (Article 10a) was introduced into the Directive establishing a legal obligation for the Commission, as follows: ‘By 31 December 2020, the Commission shall review this Directive, and to that end, shall submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council, accompanied, if appropriate, by a legislative proposal.’ 

The production of vehicles has undergone significant changes since the adoption of the Directive 20 years ago. These transformations have been influenced by the increasing use of new technologies and components in cars, such as plastics, carbon fibre or electronics, causing specific challenges for their recovery and recycling from ELVs. The growing number of electric vehicles on the EU market is expected to bring additional new challenges to the ELV sector, as the modern electric vehicles contain parts and components (e.g. batteries), requiring specific treatment at the end of their life, and other (some electric motors, containing rare materials) which are currently hard to recycle, and parts (batteries, strong magnets) which pose significant handling safety issues.

The recovery measures adopted to mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular financial incentives to purchase electric/hybrid cars, will accelerate the shift to electric cars in the EU. They might also potentially lead to an increased volume of relatively recent vehicles sent for scrapping.

This evaluation assesses to which extent the EU legislation on end-of-life vehicles is fit for purposes to deal and measure with these new developments.

The document also evaluates the ELV Directive in light of (i) the political priorities and actions set out in the European Green Deal 3 and the Circular Economy Action Plan 4 , which define an ambitious agenda to transform the European economy, based on a modern, competitive, low carbon and circular industry, and (ii) the EU framework legislation on waste management, as amended in 2018.

The European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan emphasise that the EU policy on waste should place the reduction of waste generation at its core, notably through changes in the design of products, promote high quality recycling and facilitate the uptake of recycled materials in new products. The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability 5 also strives for a safe and sustainable-by-design approach and for non-toxic material cycles: “it is necessary to ensure that substances of concern in products and recycled materials are minimised. As a principle, the same limit value for hazardous substances should apply for virgin and recycled material.

Where waste cannot be avoided, its economic value must be recovered and its impact on the environment and on climate change should be avoided or minimised. In this regard, the European Green Deal identifies vehicles as one of the products where “the Commission will consider legal requirements to boost the market of secondary raw materials with mandatory recycled content”. Additionally, vehicles are among seven sectors selected as the key product value chains in the new Circular Economy Action Plan, which directly refers to the new legislative initiative by stating “the Commission will also propose to revise the rules on end-of-life vehicles with a view to promoting more circular business models by linking design issues to end-of-life treatment, considering rules on mandatory recycled content for certain materials of components, and improving recycling efficiency”. The evaluation report is based on the evaluation criteria set out in the Better Regulation Guidelines 6 , as presented in the Commission’s evaluation roadmap 7 , namely:

üEffectiveness: looking into the extent to which the actions defined under the Directive have been implemented and whether this has resulted in achieving the ELV objectives;

üEfficiency: assessing whether the obligations arising from the implementation of the ELV Directive have been implemented in a cost-effective way and if there is a potential for further synergies to strengthen delivery while minimising costs and administrative burden, including impact on SMEs;

üRelevance: assessing whether the issues addressed by the ELV Directive still match current needs (e.g. developments in terms of e-mobility or new hazardous substances) and contribute to solutions to issues addressed by wider EU policies on circular economy, climate change, plastics, resource efficiency, raw materials, etc.;

üCoherence: assessing coherence of the ELV Directive with the EU wide policy objectives on circular economy, as well as possible inconsistencies and overlaps of the ELV Directive with the waste legislation, in particular the Waste Framework Directive and the Batteries Directive, and EU legislation on car registration and on car type-approval;

üEU added value: of the Directive compared to what Member States could have reached acting alone at national, regional and international level.

These criteria are operationalised via questions specific to this evaluation (see Section 5 and Annex 3).


This evaluation covers the whole Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, from its adoption in 2000 until present, including the amendments and the implementation in all EU-28 Member States. As a consequence, this report analyses both the issues deriving from the nature of the legislation itself as well as those deriving from its transposition and implementation in Member States, including monitoring and enforcement.

1.3.The ELV sector and the COVID-19 pandemic

The evaluation of the ELV Directive also needs to factor in, as much as possible, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the various economic sectors affected by the Directive. The structural implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the ELV Directive are difficult to foresee, in view of the numerous uncertainties linked to the pandemic itself and to its long term consequences for the interested sectors. It will require later estimations as the second wave of the pandemic started in Europe in October 2020, when this evaluation was being finalised.

This section therefore attempts to describe the short term, immediate impact that the pandemic had on the automotive chain, as well as indications as to what could be its more medium term implications, based on the views of the sectors concerned and relevant experts.

All the automotive chain, from manufacturers to suppliers to aftersales market and recyclers, has been hard-hit by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2020, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) indicated that car registrations were expected to drop by 25% in 2020, meaning that car sales would decrease by more than 3 million from 12.8 million units in 2019 to some 9.6 million units this year. This would represent the lowest number of new cars sold since 2013 8 and is mainly due to factory shutdowns during the lockdowns put in place in different EU Member States, as well as the disruption of supply chains.

The aftermarket automotive sector (vehicle parts production, their distribution, diagnostics and repair & maintenance) was also largely impacted in the EU by the pandemic: the confinement measures and the temporary closing of business-consumer interfaces has resulted in a drop in demand, with a clear effect on the access to liquidities for the overwhelming majority of SMEs and family businesses of the sector 9 .

Many ELV recycling facilities have been subject to temporary closures, while aluminium and steel prices decreased, supply chains and production lines were disrupted and the trade in goods and services interrupted. This has resulted in serious operational and financial difficulties for many businesses active in the sector, many of them small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that have been facing serious liquidity issues. The impact on the ELV sector was a reduction in the number of ELVs, reduction of auto parts sales, lack of storage as many facilities were closed or could not proceed with treatment and lack of available shipping logistics to ship Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR) to available installations. Recent studies show that auto parts sales will slow significantly and will fall by 15% in 2020 and remain 4% to 8% lower than forecasts through 2025 10 . Experts in the sector predict that a more complete and accurate estimate of the impact of crisis on dismantlers and shredders will only be possible in 2021.

The dismantling sector also pointed to the surge of ELV treatment by illegal operators as sales of the spare parts for reuse via Internet platforms were on the rise and the sellers are not always certified dismantlers and recyclers.

In response to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, the EU adopted the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument 11 . Under this instrument, grants, notably from the new Recovery and Resilience Facility, ERDF and Cohesion Fund, should be prioritised for projects with the highest social, environment, economic and EU added-value, offering an opportunity to accelerate the green transition. Furthermore, to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, most Member States have put in place considerable incentives (e.g. grants, tax reduction, free parking) for acquiring cars with low tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions (EVs and hybrids), or e-scooters and e-bikes. In the short term, these incentives to purchase new cars might result in the replacement of old cars with newly purchased cars, leading to a higher number of used vehicles becoming end-of-life vehicles, and additional activities for the ELV dismantling sector. This would be the case especially if the incentive schemes also comprise premiums for the scrapping of used cars, which however does not seem to be the case in most EU Member States. Past experiences have shown that such scrapping premiums can actually destabilise the car dismantling sector if it leads to a sudden afflux of ELVs to their facilities, bringing with it a decrease in prices and additional storage costs.

In the medium term, it is expected a further acceleration towards the electrification and higher automation of the automotive sector. This will have important consequences for the vehicle dismantling and recycling sectors, as much fewer parts are needed in electric vehicles (no gearbox, no exhaust system, much fewer moving parts in the engine, etc.), and increased digitalization will increase the share of on-board electronics. On the other hand, batteries and motors of EVs contain many valuable materials (cobalt, lithium copper, rare earths, etc.) for which recycling will represent both technical challenges and an economic interest, and shall have strong impact on innovation within the sector, but also pose safety issues which require training of the personnel coming in contact with such material. This issue is further discussed in this evaluation report.

At the same time, the automotive aftermarket stakeholders pointed out that the demand for new cars might go down if the economic crisis persists, and with it a reduced purchasing power for consumers. This could mean that households keep their cars longer, with more activities on the repairing side to keep them in good conditions, as well as increased demand for second-hand vehicles, which are cheaper.


2.1.Description of the initiative

2.1.1.Historic background and response to the ELV problematics 

The EU policy on waste management, and its associated legislation, dates back from 1975 with Directive 75/442 on waste and Directive 75/439 on waste oil.

Discussions on waste from ELVs date back to the 1970s. They were focusing particularly on the concerns caused by the illegal disposal of hazardous waste and the difficulties to treat plastic waste derived from ELVs. Increasing quantities of plastic waste were found in the Light Shredder Residues (LSR) and, due to their limited compacting characteristics, used a large amount of volume within landfills. Their incineration was also challenging as it required pre-treatment operations. The treatment of exhaust gas of waste incinerators was less developed at that time. In addition, other environmental and health risks, such as contamination of the metal scrap with heavy metals, raised public concerns.

A number of reports and studies exposed the environmental, economic and social challenges linked to the growing number of ELVs in Europe 12 13 . The number of ELVs generated in the EU-15 Member States was estimated to amount to between 7.6 and 10.3 million units per year, representing between 8 and 9 million tonnes of waste.

As a response, under the Article 175(1) of TEC (current Article 192 of TFEU), the Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles (ELV Directive) was adopted in 2000 in order to minimise the impact of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) on the environment and to improve the environmental performance of all the economic operators involved in the life-cycle of vehicles.

2.1.2.General purpose and objectives of the ELV Directive

The first EU-wide legal framework on the ELV sets three key objectives with the aim of:

   preventing waste from vehicles;

   promoting reuse, recycling and other forms of recovery of ELVs and their components so as to reduce the disposal of waste;

   improving the environmental performance of all economic operators involved in the life cycle of vehicles, especially those involved in the treatment of end-of life vehicles.

While harmonising environmental requirements, the Directive also seeks to ensure the smooth operation of the internal market and to avoid distortions of competition in the EU through an EU-wide framework in order to ensure coherence between national approaches.

In order to pursue these objectives, the Directive contains measures regarding:

   the prevention of waste, especially measures to limit the presence of hazardous substances (lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium) in vehicles and encouragement for Member States to take account and facilitate the recycling and reuse of vehicles and their parts, in the design and production stage of new vehicles;

   the collection of ELVs, notably through the obligations for Member States to ensure that authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) are available within their territory, that ELVs are transferred to such ATFs, and that the delivery of an ELV to ATFs occurs without any costs for the last holder. ATFs must be registered, comply with minimum technical requirements and permitted by Member States’ competent authorities;

   the environmentally sound treatment of ELVs;

   the targets (by weight) for the re-use and recycling (85%) of ELVs as well as re-use and recovery (95%) of components from ELVs;

   the provision of information by producers on components and materials used in vehicles, to facilitate their identification for reuse and recovery.

Specific requirements apply to remove certain vehicle components and liquids that are high pollution risks and/or contain materials of high value.

2.1.3.Main provisions of the ELV Directive

Figure 2 ‑1  provides an overview of the provisions of the ELV Directive.

Figure 2‑1: Summary of the ELV Directive

2.2.Intervention Logic 

The intervention logic below shows the intended functioning, desired results and overall rationale of the Directive.

It identifies:

·The needs to be addressed;

·The objectives to put in place aiming to address the needs;

·The inputs to implement the Directive;

·The actions and measures undertaken to meet the objectives;

·The consequences (expected outputs and results) evolving from the actions; and

·The expected impacts, which should fully resolve the needs.

·The external influences – other factors that influence the expected outputs, results and impacts outside the scope of the ELV Directive.

2.3.Interactions with other EU policies and legislations

The ELV Directive needs to be considered in the broad context set out by the EU policies on climate change, circular economy, combating pollution and industrial strategies, as reflected especially in the European Green Deal 14 , the Circular Economy Action Plan 15 , Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability 16 and the New Industrial Strategy for Europe 17 . The Directive touches upon issues which are relevant as well for the EU legislation relating to the design 18 and registration 19 of vehicles. It also interacts with many pieces of EU legislation on waste, especially the Waste Framework Directive, and also the Batteries Directive, the WEEE Directive and the Waste Shipment Regulation.

The interaction and coherence with these EU policies and legislation are assessed in detail in Section 5 of this document.


The baseline and starting point of the evaluation is defined by the date of entry into force of the Directive (2000). At the time the ELV Directive was drafted, there was no requirement to proceed with a formal impact assessment including a baseline/counter factual of no intervention. Therefore, the lack of data limits possibility to present a comprehensive overview of the original baseline. The evaluation takes into account the situation prior to the adoption of Directive, where national frameworks of ELV Directive type legislation had been established only in some Member States.

The earliest information on the legislative situation before the ELV Directive entered into force in the EU is described in the JRC-IPTS report, providing the general overview of the ELV Directive related issues 20 . The report contains the following summary:

At end of 1999, 10 EU member countries (AT, BE, FR, DE, IT, NL, PT, ES, SE and the UK) had specific regulations and/or industrial voluntary agreements (VAs) for ELV. Another three countries were discussing industrial agreements (FI and IE) or introducing legislation (DK). Six countries (AT, BE, DE, IT, NL and SE) combine VAs with legislation directly addressing ELV. AT, FR, IT and NL introduced VAs or countrywide initiatives before the drafting of the EU Directive proposal. The VAs and legislation in other countries (BE, DE, PT, ES and SE) were developed in 1997–99 during the debate on the EU Directive proposal. A process of integration between industrial agreements and legislation occurred in DE and SE after a long confrontation between industry and environmental policy-makers. In other large countries (FR, IT and the UK), ELV policy is mainly based only on VAs promoted by the car industry and involving a number of other industries. One major feature of these VAs is the absence of specific economic instruments of the free take-back (FTB) type and the prominence of free-market relationships. The agreement implemented in NL represents a specific approach for both its organisational framework and its economic incentives. A recycling fee is levied on new car prices and redistributed to dismantlers and recyclers to pay incremental recycling costs. Specific mechanical recycling targets are established. Most national voluntary agreements and/or legislation established a recovery target rate of 85 % of car weight by 2002 and a total recovery target rate of 95 % by 2015. Most countries specify the targets only in terms of recovery rates (not recycling rates, as in the EU Directive) thus allowing unconstrained energy recovery of ASR.

3.Implementation and state of play    

3.1.Implementation of ELV Directive 

A number of reports and studies have been published since 2000 on the implementation of the ELV Directive.

This includes in particular Commission implementation reports based on information provided by Member States pursuant to Commission Decision 2001/753/EC 21 concerning a questionnaire for Member States reports on the implementation of Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles and the Compliance Promotion Initiative to assess the implementation of Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of life vehicles (the ELV Directive) with emphasis on the end-of life vehicles of unknown whereabouts. They can be found on the Commission’s website 22 .

A number of specific reports and studies were also carried out on legal, economic and practical aspects linked to the ELV Directive, in particular the following:

·End of life vehicles: Legal aspects, national practices and recommendations for future successful approach (study for the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, 2010) 23 ;

·Requirements for the management of waste containing persistent organic pollutants – Rules concerning waste in the POP Regulation and their application to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and end-of-life vehicles (2016)

·Development of proposals, including legal instruments, to improve the data situation on the whereabouts of end-of-life vehicles (2017) 24 ;

·Report the End-of-Life Vehicle sector by ADEME (2017) 25 ;

·Enhancing the Separation of Components and Materials from End-of-Life Vehicles Aiming at the Recovery of Critical Metals by ORKAM (2017) 26 ;

·Effectively tackling the issue of millions of vehicles with unknown whereabouts - European priority measure: establishing leakage-proof vehicle registration systems by UBA (2020) 27 ;

·Used vehicles and the environment. UNEP report (2020) 28 ;

·Used vehicles exported to Africa – a study on the quality of used export vehicles. Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (2020) 29 .

The implementation of the ELV Directive required that multiple changes be made to its Annex II, relating to hazardous substances. Under the ELV Directive, vehicle and equipment manufacturers are required to limit the use of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium for materials and components put on the market after 1 July 2003, subject to the exemptions listed in Annex II to the Directive. Until 2019, where their use is unavoidable. Annex II has been amended 10 times in order to reduce these exemptions while taking into account the technical and scientific progress. More information on these changes is provided in the webpage of the European Commission 30 .

3.2.Key facts and figures relating to the ELV sector in the EU 

·In 2016, 258 million passenger cars were registered in the EU, and these all fall within the scope of the ELV Directive. Around 90% of the 34 million trucks registered weigh less than 3.5 tonnes and are also within the scope of the ELV Directive. Trucks weighing more than 3.5 tonnes are not covered by the ELV Directive. The remaining 45 million vehicles, including motorcycles, trailers and semi-trailers, road tractors, special purpose vehicles, motor coaches, buses and trolley buses, are not within the scope of the ELV Directive.

·The average age of an ELV in the EU is between 15 and 22 years.

·In 2018, approximately 15 million new passenger cars were registered in the EU27 31 .

·In 2017, 11.21 million light commercial vehicles below 3.5 tonnes total mass (category M1) and passenger cars (category N1) left the stock of registered vehicles. Of these, 6.57 million were reported as ELVs and 0.87 million were reported as exports of used cars to non-EU countries. Therefore, the whereabouts of 3.77 million vehicles which left the stock of registered vehicles are unknown (see further development on this in section 5.1.2).

·The ELV Directive establishes minimum technical requirements for the treatments used in ATFs and shredders. Europe has approximately 14 000 ATFs and 350 automotive shredding facilities.

·The average weight of an ELV in 2017 was 1088 kg 32 . This means that the 11.21 million vehicles leaving the stock in 2017 represent 12.2 million tonnes of waste.

·Based on the average material composition of ELVs, 12.2 million tonnes of represent a material flow of 70% (8.5 million tonnes) of ferrous metals, 4% (490 000 tonnes) of non-ferrous metals (excluding wiring harnesses), 3% (365 000 tonnes (glass)) and 14.8% (1.48 million tonnes) of mixed plastics. These figures exclude tyres, battery casings and the plastic sheathing of wiring harnesses.


4.1.Evaluation questions

In line with the Commission's better regulation policy, this report assesses the Directive according to five evaluation criteria: effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value. To this end, this report answers the following evaluation questions:


·To what extent have the objectives of the ELV Directive been achieved?

·To what extent have the results been effectively monitored?

·Which factors contributed to or hampered the observed achievements of the ELV Directive?

·Did the ELV Directive lead to other significant changes or results?

·What and to which extent did Member States implement measures to address the problems of “missing ELV” (e.g. cooperation mechanisms between MSs)?


·To what extent are the costs proportionate to the benefits which have been achieved as a result of the ELV Directive?

· How are the overall costs and benefits linked to the implementation of the ELV Directive distributed across the relevant economic actors?

·What factors influenced the efficiency?


·To what extent is the ELV Directive appropriately covering the new challenges, changing environment and developments affecting the automotive and ELV sectors?

·How well do the objectives and provisions of the ELV Directive correspond to the current EU policy objectives?


·To what extent is the ELV Directive coherent with other EU policies and legislation?

EU added value:

·What is the added-value resulting from the ELV Directive?  


The Commission first published a roadmap for the evaluation of the ELV Directive in 2018 33 . The Commission also worked with a consortium of consultants which produced in August 2020 a study designed to support this evaluation 34 .

The main steps undertaken and sources of information used for this evaluation are the following:

·A review of existing literature and data (the legal acts and documents related to the implementation of the Directive; exemption evaluation reports related to the hazardous substance prohibitions 35 ; end-of-life vehicle statistics from Eurostat 36 ; relevant studies 37 ; data from the reports by Member States);

·An open public consultation was conducted by the Commission for 12 weeks, 6 August 2019 – 29 October 2019 38 . In total, 141 stakeholders responded to the consultation, approximately half of them have been received from the business community;

·Targeted consultation activities were also performed, consisting of a survey and interviews which key stakeholders for the ELV Directive. A total of 72 stakeholders responded to the targeted questionnaire coming from a range of stakeholder groups, including Member State Competent Authorities, Trade Associations, Non-Government Organisations and other stakeholders;

·On 5 February 2020, a Stakeholder workshop was organised to verify and to support the findings of the evaluation. It involved 71 representatives of Member States authorities, economic operators and their representatives at EU and national level, NGOs and academics.

More information on the methodology and process followed for this evaluation (including on the consultation of stakeholders) can be found in the Annexes to the present document and on the European Commission’s webpage specially dedicated for the evaluation of the ELV Directive: .

4.3.Limitations – robustness of findings

Stakeholder consultation

The evaluation aimed to involve all affected stakeholders via the most appropriate methods. A variety of tools were used to collect the evidence required for the evaluation, including the targeted survey and interviews, the Open Public Consultation (OPC) and the stakeholder workshop. Several limitations were identified in the capacity to obtain the relevant information:

·Input from targeted interviews was relatively limited. Despite multiple contacts, a number of stakeholders declined invitations for various reasons, e.g., preference to provide responses in written through the survey, no availability. As such, the number of individual responses was less than initially planned. However, in view of the participation of most of those contacted to the targeted survey and the stakeholder workshop, the impact to the validity of the conclusions is considered to be limited;

·Despite the surveys and the interviews, no input was received from certain stakeholder groups, including insurers (except for one company), consumer representatives and vehicle registration experts. This information gap was partially mitigated by applying a tailored desk research with the aim reflect the viewpoints of these groups in the overall assessment;

·There was a “Consultation fatigue” by the stakeholders in the consultation process. For the time efficiency purposes, the tailored approach was applied to manage the stakeholder communication, in particular, through the targeted surveys ensuring the questions addressed are appropriate and clearly stated.

Costs and other data collection

The collection of data on costs associated with the ELV was rather challenging. Stakeholders were asked to provide information on the costs resulting from the implementation of the Directive, such as administrative, technical compliance, monitoring, collecting and reporting data and estimates, labour costs, including their distribution among the sectors/operators 39 . Contribution from stakeholders was relatively limited. There were conflicting views and data available regarding the costs associated with ELVs.

In some cases, respondents were unable to identify the costs associated with the Directive from other costs. This posed limitations to the capacity to provide a comprehensive estimation of the costs. Where available, data from relevant studies/reports was used to fill relevant gaps and verify the input from stakeholders. Where necessary, the combination of expert and qualitative judgments was applied. Due to the strong interrelation of the ELV Directive with other EU legislation (such as the Batteries Directive and Chemical legislation), evaluation and focus exclusively on the ELVs regulatory aspects required critical analysis. It was particularly important in identifying the costs solely imposed by the Directive. As there was no impact assessment required for the primary proposal of the Directive before 2000, it was impossible to retrieve the original estimate of costs.

Validity of analysis and conclusions

The input provided by stakeholders during the consultation process on some important data remained limited. In order to address possible information and data gaps, after the completion of the open public consultation, a stakeholder workshop was organised to present the initial findings and test them against a broad range of stakeholders. As a result, and on the basis of the additional input received, the evaluation was accordingly refined and, where necessary, revised. It ensured validity and confidence of the findings and conclusions of the report.

5.Analysis and answers to the evaluation questions

This section provides an evaluation of the ELV Directive according to the five evaluation criteria (effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and added-value of the Directive). The evaluation work was initiated based on a series of questions – the questions and corresponding answers are compiled in this section, so as to provide an analysis of the most relevant aspects linked to the ELV Directive. More information on the initial questions and their rationale can be found in the evaluation matrix presented in Annex 3.


The overall effectiveness of the ELV Directive is analysed in the following sections, through examining the progress towards achievement the objectives and targets, factors hindering such progress and issues relating to reporting. It contains an important focus on the issue of “missing ELV”, which represents the major problem affecting the effectiveness of the ELV Directive.

5.1.1.Have the objectives and targets of the ELV Directive been met and monitored?

This section provides an overview of the implementation of the objectives established by the ELV Directive. It encompasses the implementation of the provisions relating to waste prevention, to the collection and treatment of ELV, to the reuse, recovery and recycling targets, as well as the provisions on reporting. prevention: elimination of hazardous substances

Article 4(1)(a) of the Directive stipulates that, in order to promote the prevention of waste Member States shall encourage vehicle manufacturers and their supply chain “to limit the use of hazardous substances in vehicles and to reduce them as far as possible from the conception of the vehicle onwards, so as in particular to prevent their release into the environment, make recycling easier, and avoid the need to dispose of hazardous waste”. To this end, Article 4(2)(a) prohibits the use of lead, mercury, cadmium or hexavalent chromium in materials and components of vehicles put on the market after 1 July 2003, other than in cases listed in Annex II. This annex specifies a number of materials and components in which the use of these substances is tolerated, if the use of these substances is unavoidable. The Commission amends this annex on a regular basis adapting it to technical and scientific progress. The items listed in this annex are referred to as “exemptions” throughout this document.

When the ELV Directive was adopted in 2000, Annex II specified 13 exemptions: 5 exemptions for the use of lead (Pb) in various alloys; six exemptions for the use of Pb in various components, an exemption for hexavalent chromium (Cr VI) in coatings and one for mercury (Hg) in bulbs and displays. The annex also required the Commission to review two of the specified exemptions as well as a number of additional ones according to the procedure specified in Art. 4(2) (via a Commission delegated act). To date, the annex has been reviewed ten times and all exemptions for cadmium and mercury have expired as well as all but one exemption for hexavalent chromium and most of the exemptions for lead. The exemption for lead-acid batteries in terms of the volume of hazardous substance applied is the most significant remaining one, and is currently being reviewed 40 .

The most frequent issues raised by stakeholders do not question the overall logic and effectiveness of the ELV Directive in addressing hazardous substances, but relate to the frequency of the review of the exemptions, as well as to the justification for keeping or removing these exemptions.

There is no reference in the Directive on the frequency of the review of the exemptions. Since 2002, Annex II has been reviewed every 2-3 years. In relation to the frequency of the amendments of Annex II, most stakeholders did not have an opinion (40%) as to whether amendments were frequent enough, another large group, mostly representing national or regional administrations, responded they were sufficient (35%) and a number of stakeholders, notably from companies or business associations, considered the reviews were too frequent (24%). It was noted that in cases where substitute candidates are not yet known, more time could be given between exemption evaluations to allow sufficient time for the design of vehicles to progress and to be adapted to scientific and technical progress. It would address long design cycles of vehicles that include re-design, a number of testing phases (on component, vehicle and field level), type-approval and ramp-up of production scale. The RoHS Directive allows exemptions of a maximum duration of up to 7 years for categories with longer design cycles, e.g. medical devices, monitoring and control devices.

A longer maximum duration of exemptions might also be explored for the ELV Directive. The maximum duration should only be applied where candidate substitutes are not identified, assuming that the time for development of substitutes, their testing and the ramp-up of full scale manufacture will need a longer period to ensure implementation. Where substitutes are identified and in development, the exemption duration should be considered in relation to the stage of development and the plan for development and implementation of substitutes. Indications that substitutes are expected to reach maturity within less than the maximum duration would justify a shorter exemption, with the aim of the evaluation allowing the specification of an end-date for the exemption.

Recital 11 of the Directive states that “in particular the use of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium should be prohibited”, explaining that these “heavy metals should only be used in certain applications according to a list which will be regularly reviewed”. The main criterion for deciding on the continuation of an exemption is whether the use of the substances concerned is unavoidable. Stakeholders have noticed that the justification criteria are not harmonised with those used notably in the RoHS Directive. It was also pointed out that the situation in which a substitute may also have negative environmental impacts is not specifically addressed under the ELV Directive and could lead to undesirable substitutions. Some stakeholders pleaded for the introduction of socio-economic aspects, as in the RoHS Directive, which may also be relevant with the aim to weigh impacts on the environment and on health against economic impacts.

The European Chemicals Agency currently does not play any role in the assessment of the exemptions relating to hazardous substances laid down in the ELV Directive. It should be noted that, in its recent proposal for a Regulation on batteries, the Commission has proposed that the European Chemicals Agency is tasked to perform a similar assessment for batteries.

Overall, it can be concluded that the ELV Directive has been largely effective in achieving its aim to limit the presence of hazardous substances in vehicles. The main problematic issues relate to the inconsistency of the ELV Directive with other EU legislation on the criteria used to justify/remove exemptions and the duration of these exemptions. However, this does not invalidate the conclusion that these provisions have generally been effective. prevention: design and production of new vehicles and integration of recycled materials in vehicles

Article 4 of the ELV Directive contains provisions regarding the design and production of new vehicles. It notably requests Member States to “encourage” the facilitation of dismantling, reuse and recovery, in particular the recycling, of end-of life vehicles, their components and materials, at the design and production stage. Member States shall also “encourage” the automotive sector to “integrate an increasing quantity of recycled material in vehicles and other products, in order to develop the markets for recycled materials”.

These provisions are very general and not sufficiently specific and measurable. No information is available which shows that Member States have taken measures in these fields, in order to implement that provisions of the ELV Directive, which “encouraged” them to do so. These provisions have therefore had little to no impact on the design and manufacturing of new vehicles. It is doubtful that vehicles currently put on the market are easier to dismantle and recycle than in 2000, notably in view of the changes in the composition of cars which includes a growing volume of plastics and electronics. Some interesting initiatives have been adopted by some car manufacturers, notably to promote the re-use of spare parts, the re-manufacturing of components or recycling of materials, as well as the use of recycled materials. These initiatives were taken on a voluntary basis and cannot be traced back to the implementation of the ELV Directive.

It can therefore be concluded, that in view of their general nature, the provisions of the ELV Directive on the design and production of new vehicles and on the integration of recycled materials have not brought about real improvements at the EU level on these issues.

These issues are further discussed in the parts of the present report assessing the relevance of the ELV Directive and its coherence with the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Directive 2005/64/EC on the type-approval of motor vehicles regarding their reusability, recyclability and recoverability. and treatment of ELV in Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) and shredders

Article 5 of the ELV Directive requires that “systems for the collection of all end-of life vehicles” are set up in all Member States, which should have “adequate availability” within their territory.

The number of Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) is therefore an important indicator to assess how the ELV Directive has been implemented on this point. The concept of “authorised treatment facility” did not exist in EU law before the adoption of the ELV Directive. The first reporting on the number of ATF dates back from the period 2011-2014, for which the Member States informed the Commission of the existence of approximately 13 000 ATFs, each of which treat an average of around 500 ELVs per year (minimum 69 in LT and maximum 2295 in HU). The total number of ATFs increased during the period 2014 – 2017 to about 14 000, although the development of ATF capacity varies between Member States. 41 The evaluation did not point to any major problems in the implementation of the provisions regarding the availability of ATFs across the EU.

To ensure effectiveness, Member States encourage ATFs and other establishments operating treatment operations to introduce “certified environmental management systems” 42 , for which there is however no definition. The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and ISO 14001 are among the most commonly used certification systems. ATF registration under these systems has been used as measure of compliance with this requirement. The reporting on the implementation of EMAS for ATFs varies across the Member States. Relatively few Member States report a large number of EMAS certified ATFs. Certification to the less demanding ISO 14001, an alternative environmental management system, is more often applied than EMAS certification.

All Member States are also implementing correctly the provisions of the ELV Directive according to which the delivery of the vehicle to an authorised treatment facility shall occur without any cost for the last holder and/or owner.

Article 5(2) of the ELV Directive specifies that “Member States shall also take the necessary measures to ensure that all end-of life vehicles are transferred to authorised treatment facilities”. The number of ELVs transferred to ATFs across the EU amount to around 6 million per year. However, a large number of ELVs are not transferred to ATFs and are considered as “missing vehicles” (see section 5.1.2. on this issue in the present report).

After collection, the typical treatment of end-of-life vehicles usually consists of two different steps 43 :

I.The first step is the treatment in an ATF, where ELVs are de-polluted and dismantled, as required by the ELV Directive. Minimum requirements for installations for storage and treatment of ELVs in such ATFs are described in Annex I to the ELV Directive. Additional national requirements might also be established. No particular problems were reported on the implementation of these standards during the evaluation process;

II.The second step is the shredding of depolluted ELVs. Shredders for ELVs are regulated by the best available techniques (BAT) reference document for waste treatment. A total of 352 “automotive shredders” were operating in the EU and Norway in 2014. Most of these were in Italy (62), France (50), UK (47), Germany (43) and Spain (31). The remaining 33% of this type of shredders are distributed across 20 countries. There is minimum one shredder identified per Member State 44 . 

Figure 5‑1: Number of auto shredders per country

Source: Mc Kenna 2014

After shredding, the residues are either disposed of or treated in post-shredder technology (PST) facilities. Some shredders have integrated PST or separate PST on site; other shredders send residues of the shredding process to offsite PST plants while some operators send shredder residues without PST for disposal e.g. at landfills. PST facilities allow to recover or recycle residues and improve recycling rates. The current reporting rules do not require Member States to present information on the existence and capacity of PST facilities, so that there is not comprehensive overview of the situation across the EU, or comparison between Member States on this point. increasing material recovery

Removal of materials from ELVs prior to shredding allows to maximise their recovery from ELVs. It prevents mixing of materials at the shredding stage and preserves their value, and recyclability and reusability properties. The ELV Directive sets out provisions on the removal of parts to promote reuse and recycling (see Article 6(3) and Annex I(4)) which are not sufficiently precise, and whose effect is limited. For example, these provisions mention the removal of glass without specifying at which stage of the treatment this removal should take place. This means that, in practice, the removal of glass is rarely performed before the shredding stage, which seriously undermines the possibility to recycle glass.

The targeted survey confirmed that ATFs tend to remove parts and materials pre-shredding, if a profitable market exists for these. According to eight stakeholders, including experts and business organisations not all parts/materials are economically profitable to dismantle. According to three stakeholders, including administrative organisations, the reason why materials are currently not removed is the lack of an obligation to do so in the Directive.

Removal of catalysts, tyres, metal components are considered as the operations which are the most commonly performed at the pre-shredding phase. Potential reasons of non-existence of pre-shredding treatment operations in the EU were indicated at the workshop:

·Glass: A glass association noted that every Member State has the facilities/capacity to recycle, so that the lack of recycling could be due to the higher price of recycled material (vs. virgin material);

·Plastic components: an EPR organisation noted that they are not removed due to the costs and low value of recycled materials;

·Copper: such as that found in wiring (removal requiring precise recycling practices) has a high extraction cost and it is therefore not economically viable for an ATF to extract it.

Although an extensive material separation and recovery is carried out post-shredder, a majority of the targeted stakeholders, including branch organisations, recyclers, national and regional administration, a trade union and environmental organisations, highlighted removal of other parts before shredding is important to promote a higher rate of recycling (53% of stakeholders), only 23% responded this was not important. It particularly concerns batteries, oils and fluids, and electrical and electronic equipment 45 . This is because these materials are of high value and a market exists that supports their recycling. It also has to be taken into account that ATFs compete with non-registered dismantlers and it would impose an extra burden on the registered dismantlers if they were obliged to meet the additional costs of dismantling. 

Overall, the insufficient recovery of materials pre-shredding is an example where maximising the objectives of the Circular Economy is being constrained by economic barriers and a lack of clear language in the ELV Directive. and recycling targets

Article 7 of the ELV Directive sets out targets for the re-use and recycling of ELVs (85% by an average weight per vehicle and year) as well as re-use and recovery of ELVs (95% by an average weight per vehicle and year). These targets were due to be met by the Member States by 1 January 2015.

As presented in Figure 5 ‑2  a large majority of the Member States reported compliance with meeting these targets for 2017 which is the latest year where this information is available.

Figure 5‑2: Reuse/recovery and reuse/recycling rate for end-of life vehicles, 2017

15 Member States had met the minimum reuse and recovery target of 95% by an average weight per vehicle and year. The average reuse and recovery rate for the EU28 as a whole was 94%, just below the target 46 .The data reported by the Member States indicate that the recovery/reuse and recycling/reuse targets set out in the ELV Directive have largely been met, as it is shown in Figure above.

The different options available to the Member States for reporting on the attainment of the targets means however that the data are not necessarily comparable and that their quality varies across Member States.

There is no separate target established for reuse, and the level of reuse reported by the EU Member States varies considerably. Figure 5 ‑3  displays the share of reuse, compared to the total volume of reported reuse, recovery and disposal operations, as reported by the Member States for the year 2017 (or for the year otherwise indicated in the table).

Figure 5‑3: Share of reuse, compared to the total volume of reuse, recovery and disposal, 2017

Source: Data: Eurostat; compilation: Oeko-Institut e.V.

The date set out for achieving these targets is 2015 and these targets have not be revised since the adoption of the ELV Directive in 2000. Article 7(3) foresees that targets should have been set for the post 2015 period, but this was not done. The Commission published a report 47 on these targets in 2007, after conducting an Impact Assessment 48 , assessing available information from a study on the costs and benefits of the ELV Directive. The assessment showed that the targets set by the ELV Directive for 2015 generated both substantial environmental and economic benefits and that repealing or reducing the targets would reduce these benefits. The report concluded that these targets should remain stable in order to guarantee investment security into more cost efficient waste treatment technologies. Therefore, the report concluded that Commission should not propose a revision of the targets.

Other important aspects relating to these targets are addressed in other parts of the present report (notably the lack of coherence with the Waste Framework Directive on the definition of “recycling”, as well as the added-value of setting targets per weight vs per materials). specific recovery targets

There is a limited quantitative data available on the recycling of specific materials from ELVs. Table 1 in the Annex of Commission Decision 2005/293/EC laying down detailed rules on the monitoring of the reuse/recovery and reuse/recycling targets set out in the ELV Directive contains some materials from the depollution and dismantling for which reporting on reuse/recycling/energy recovery/total recovery is requested. However this table is not mandatory and Member States do not provide this detailed information.

A report by the French Environment Agency 49 provides details on the reuse, recycling, energy recovery and disposal by material, based on data for ELVs treated in France in 2018 (see table below). The figure shows that metal and metallic components (such as catalytic converters and batteries) are almost 100% reused and/or recycled. For non-metallic components, the share of re-use is 12,5%, recycling 39%, sent to energy recovery facilities for 27% and landfilled for 22%. A higher share of such materials (e.g. glass, tyres and most plastics) are directed to energy recovery or disposal. Regarding tyres, in 2018, 62% of end-of-life tyres were recycled into other applications and 33% of tyres is directed to energy recovery 50 . Retreading tyres is also a way to increase resource efficiency of tyres 51 . The lowest reuse and recycling rates are reported for textiles and polyurethane foams.

The targeted survey included a specific question on whether specific waste management targets per material, such as a specific rate for aluminium, plastic, glass, would improve the implementation of the ELV Directive. Different reactions were received, although a majority of respondents agreed specific material targets would improve the implementation of the Directive. Eight stakeholders, representing recyclers, experts and public authorities, noted it would lead to incentives for higher recycling and better eco-design of cars.

Specific targets were suggested for certain materials such as aluminium, glass and plastic. However, it was opposed by one stakeholder that a specific rate for aluminium would highly increase costs for ELV dismantling, while another business association indicated that aluminium recycling from automotive applications is already in the average of 95%.

Figure 54: Breakdown by type of treatment of each material constituting an ELV