International News from JARA

Jan 1, 2024 | Industry

Automotive Recycler Groups and Companies Set Up Temporary Storage Yards for Disaster-Damaged Vehicles

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In the Kanto and Tohoku region, automotive recycler groups and companies set up temporary storage yards for vehicles damaged by the Typhoon 13 disaster that hit in early September.

On September 13, NGP Group (President, Nobuo Kobayashi) set up temporary storage yards in Mobara, Chiba Prefecture, Takahagi, Ibaraki Prefecture, and Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, which were seriously damaged by the disaster. In each yard, local NGP member companies started pickup work of damaged vehicles from September 19.

JARA Corporation (President, Kenichiro Yajima) and JARA Group (President, Junichiro Kawashima) will also set up storage yards in the above-mentioned three prefectures. Both NGP and JARA reported that there was no damage on their member companies.

Damaged car purchasing and sales company Hanamaru (President, Kazuya Okazaki), Osaka, which operates “Sokokara” services, set up its Disaster Reconstruction Support Team and secured a storage yard in Iwaki.

Before that, owing to linear rainbands and typhoons, many vehicles in Akita and Fukuoka prefectures were flooded. Akita in particular suffered serious disaster damage. To reconstruct, recycler groups and companies were involved in the vehicle pick work there. Immediately thereafter, they were forced to tackle pickup work in other disaster-damaged prefectures. In 2023, NGP Group has already set up six storage yards in Japan. (Daily Automotive News, September 22)

EV Battery-Charging Operators Face Tightened Government Rule for Subsidy Program

Electric vehicle (EV) battery-charging operators are reaching a turning point of their business model based on the government subsidy. The budget for fiscal year 2023 was exhausted because many operators rushed to secure their budget limit. In September 2023, the government tightened rules for the subsidy program to set the upper limit of the number of battery chargers for each operator. Additionally, the operators are required to submit plans for charger installation.

Enechange Ltd. (President, Youhei Kiguchi) had forecasted the early shortage of the subsidy. In June, the company submitted a request containing the change of qualification criteria for EV charging operators to the government. The government issued a favorable decision in September. Terra Motors Corporation (President, Akihiro Ueda) also welcomed the decision, “This is tailwind for our company.”

Fierce competition for subsidy application caused this welcoming mood for some companies. Regarding the tightened requirements, Toru Tokushige, Chairman of Terra Motors Corp. said, “New requirements with examination will enable us to find the exact amount of money.”

Kouta Chishima, CEO Office Chief of Enechange Ltd. analyzes, “In the future, battery-charger use rate will be focused.” The management for each charger will be important.

YourStand Inc. (President, Nobuyuki Yura) is one of the operators focusing on battery charger use rate. Its Operating Officer Dennis Chia said, “Battery chargers are a social infrastructure. We will increase the use rate with an eye on long-term corporate vision.”

EV battery operators are required to formulate long-term strategies. (Daily Automotive News, September 28)

Nissan’s Subsidiary Raised the Purchase Price of Used Car-Batteries to Increase Collected Volume

4R Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., raised the purchase price of used car batteries, President Yutaka Horie revealed. New price and other details are unknown. The company previously set a price between 5,000 yen and 15,000 yen per pack, depending on the battery conditions.

4R Energy is a joint venture between Nissan Motor and Sumitomo Corporation. Its business includes car and stationary battery recycling. On September 1, the company, jointly with Nissan Motor, started selling recycled portable batteries to individuals.

Securing used batteries is the biggest challenge in expanding the battery recycling industry. Although the number of ELV of the first-generation Nissan Leaf EV, which was launched in 2010, has increased annually, many are exported overseas. To date, 4R Energy has collected only a small number of Nissan Leaf. The company increased its purchase price to increase the number of used batteries collected. In August, exports to Russia were prohibited, to which many EVs were shipped. By taking this opportunity, 4R Energy intends to increase purchase.

Previously, 4R Energy focused on product development and investment in recycling facilities. Hereafter, the company will turn to the battery recycling business by increasing the purchase volume of used batteries. (Daily Automotive News, September 12) 

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