Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond has heard concerns about how electric vehicles will be recycled when she visited one of the region’s major automotive waste operations.
Flick went to Silverlake in Shedfield on Friday to meet with managing director Allen Prebble who invited her to come and discuss how the industry will cope with EVs.
The MP was told end-of-life management for electric vehicles will require a significant change to the way Silverlake operates.
Allen explained the government was taking positive steps to move towards net zero in the automotive sector, but added he is concerned that not enough work was being done to ready the country for the significant change.
He said some of these pressures will come to bear on businesses like Silverlake to provide the continued safe and effective recycling of end-of-life electric vehicles.
Presently, there is no infrastructure to handle EVs and specialist training is needed to process them due to the risk of electric shocks from 400 volts and risk of combustion so they need to be decontaminated first under water.
EV car batteries are forecast to need recycling every eight years, Allen said. Annual training is needed to keep up to date with modifications as the EV sector develops and Silverlake is seeking funding for training.
“I thank Allen for inviting me to see his very impressive operation that is processing 100 vehicles a day,” said Flick.
“Silverlake is a major local employer that knows its business and what Allen told me will be fed back to the relevant ministers.
I will also be inviting a minister to come and visit the site to speak to him because it is important the government hears what business owners in this key sector are concerned about.
“The visit was fascinating. The work and expertise that goes into recycling cars and their parts is tremendous to see.”
Silverlake was established in 1946 by Norman Prebble. His son Allen is now in charge
It employs over 130 staff and is a strategically important waste management facility for Hampshire and the wider central southern England region.
It has contracts with Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council, Winchester City Council, Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service and Hampshire Constabulary for the management of end of life, fire damaged, and abandoned vehicles.
In addition, it holds contracts with some of the UK’s largest car insurers to manage crash damaged vehicles.
Last year Silverlake managed approximately 32,000 vehicles through the facility and achieved a recycling rate of 96.1%.