All good things must come to an end. Nowhere is this adage more true than within the automotive world. When Toyota released the Prius in 1997, it revolutionized the idea of what a car could be, and left many wondering just what the automotive industry would look like in 15 years. Unfortunately, not much has really changed. Cars still last for an average of about 20 years or so, gas mileage hasn’t increased spectacularly, and now we’re left with what is becoming an aging fleet of hybrid automobiles that are nearing or at the end of their useful life. To make sure that the car’s end is as green as its beginning, there are a few things to keep in mind if your hybrid car’s next job is as a mailbox.
Auto Recyclers- Automotive recyclers purchase and then sell cars that are no longer in running condition for parts. Be wary of a recycler offering only a few hundred dollars for your hybrid, though. Since many of these vehicles are still on the road, the parts are still very expensive, particularly body panels and engine components. If a recycler offers you $300 to pick up your non-running hybrid, shop around for a better offer. Chances are good that they feel they can take advantage of you.
Parting Out- Parting out a car, and in particular a hybrid, takes the recycler out of the picture for the time being. It’s remarkably easy to do, and as long as your home owner’s association doesn’t have a problem with a rapidly disappearing car parked in your garage or carport. Parting out the car yourself allows you to retain the profit that the auto recycler would have made on you. All you have to do is list the individual components on classified ad websites or auction sites, and then wait for interested parties to get back to you. As the parts sell, simply remove them and ship them off to their new home. Once you’ve sold off all the valuable components, that $300 from the recycler won’t seem like such a bad deal, after all.
Of course, these tips can be used for practically any vehicle. What makes a hybrid so special? The batteries are one. If the car runs off of a battery pack, disposing of the lithium-ion pack or earlier models’ Nickle and Cobalt batteries can be a real hassle. They don’t generally sell very well unless they still work, and even then, it can be more trouble than its worth to try to ship them. This is where metal salvage yards come in handy. You might be surprised to learn that many salvage yards don’t just take steel and aluminum cans. Many will take bronze, copper, lead, and yes, even batteries. You don’t even have to do anything special with them. Simply take the battery pack to a salvage yard that accepts them, and they’ll take care of the rest. You’ll even leave with a few extra dollars in your pocket!
As the new breed of hybrid cars enters service, new ways must be found to repurpose or recycle them. After all, A car that claims to be green is a hypocrite if it can’t be recycled!