Scrapping & Salvaging Electric Cars

Electric vehicles might still be relatively new in the automotive world, but they’re likely to play a big part in our future. They’re cleaner and have less moving parts that could suffer malfunctions, and despite the exorbitant cost of a new battery, the one that comes straight out of the factory is likely to last for around the same amount of time as any petrol or diesel car.

But, electric cars are not immortal. They will, eventually, stop working and due to the aforementioned component replacement fees, their drivers will most often simply purchase a new car altogether. What happens to the old ones? Can they be scrapped or salvaged like their combustion engine counterparts? Scrap Cars For Cash has the answer below.

If your car, EV or otherwise, is ready to be disposed of, Scrap Cars For Cash can find you a local buyer who is willing to pay a great amount for it. We offer free collection to our customers, no matter where in the UK they live, so call us on 08443 761 020 or get a quote online today.

Can You Scrap An EV?

Electric vehicles might be completely different to a ‘traditional’ car under the bonnet, but the scrap and salvage industry has quickly learned to adapt. You can scrap an EV and, from a driver’s point of view, the process works in just the same way as if you were disposing of your old internal combustion engine (ICE) car. However, the step by step process undertaken by the technician that will be scrapping the EV is slightly different and in fact slightly more difficult. We’ll discuss this process further down the page.

The Challenges With Scrapping An Electric Car

Scrapping these new-age electric vehicles isn’t quite as simple as disposing of an ICE car. First and foremost, technicians must receive specialist training in order to be capable of breaking these cars down. This puts some limitations on the number of Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) that can take on the job (but Scrap Cars For Cash has enough ATFs in our network to find one for your EV).

Then, the next major obstacle involves the removal of the lithium-ion battery (or batteries) that sits in place of the fuel tank & traditional combustion engine. The components are both volatile and extremely heavy, so mishandling could have serious consequences that endanger the lives of those working on and around the vehicles. Once they’re out of the car, they still pose a threat. Recycling is difficult due to the environmentally harmful materials, while improper storage could cause a more immediate threat than pollution – it could set on fire.

There’s also the risk of electrocution when working on an EV, with a high voltage current passing through the car’s components, including the battery, even after it’s been disconnected.

Finally, EV scrapping poses a more unusual threat. These cars actually contain a large number of extremely strong magnets, which are more than capable of disarming a mechanic and dragging their tools clean out of their hands. Worse still, these magnets could interfere with pacemakers and other electronic or metal medical components that someone may have inside their body!

What Is The Difference Between ICE And EV

These acronyms only add the jargon that many in the automotive industry like to use when talking to one another, so we’re going to explain what they mean, followed by the differences between the respective types of car that they stand for.


ICE stands for Internal Combustion Engine, and with the booming popularity of electric cars, has become the acronym used to describe any of the traditional cars that still contain one of these petrol or diesel engines.


EV, on the other hand, simply stands for Electric Vehicle. As battery-powered automobiles expanded to include trucks, bikes and everything in between, a blanket acronym was created to give a shorthand way of discussing these vehicles that run solely on electricity.

There are several other acronyms that branch off from EV, including the less commonly heard BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) & FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle) and the widely used HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), E-REV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) & PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle).

What’s the difference?

ICE and EV cars are, in appearance at least, almost identical. Visibly, you’ll notice that most EVs will stand out thanks to a green marking on their number plates and a lack of both exhaust pipes and front grilles. While some EVs have fully embraced this and produced some rather garish grille alternatives (like BMW’s iX and i4) others have kept the changes more low-key.

Beneath the bodywork, however, the changes are drastic. Of course, the standard engine has been removed and replaced with a large battery and electric motor, but the fuel tank (now obsolete) is no longer present.

One other conversion that many may not consider is that EVs are almost always without a gearbox. Most electric vehicles operate similarly to automatic cars, but while those vehicles still do go through a selection of gears, standard EVs do not. There are no gears at all on the vast majority, with performance models sometimes an exception; the driver simply puts their foot down the appropriate level of power is delivered. This is why Tesla is able to boast a 0-60 speed of less than two seconds for their Model S Plaid!

How To Scrap An Electric Car

The first thing to consider when contemplating how to scrap an EV is who exactly will be doing the work. It’s vital that you only allow trained professionals from fully-licensed ATFs to handle your electric car. They will know the correct method to remove any electric current from the vehicle and they’ll have the manpower and machinery to safely lift the battery and other components from the car.

Once these components are removed and have been safely stored, the ATF technicians will have the machinery available to break down and ultimately crush the EV, plus they’ll have the knowhow to let them recycle or reuse any salvageable parts.

Sell Your EV With Scrap Cars For Cash

If you were an early adopter to the EV community and it’s now starting to age or even break down, or your newer car has been involved in an unfortunate accident, rendering it written-off, you might now be looking to scrap it to recoup some of the cash you spent on it. Scrap Cars For Cash can find you an excellent price for your car, offered by a UK-based ATF in your local area that’s capable of handling EVs. Get a quote today by calling 08443 761 020 or by entering your details into our online quote form. Either way, you can receive an offer for your car in under 60 seconds and your vehicle will be collected for free, no matter where you are!