New European standards
In the European Union, vehicles must meet the local technical requirements in all 27 countries before commercialization. The requirements’ aim is to improve traffic safety, save energy and protect the environment. Most of the countries identify compliance with these requirements through the process of type approval.
For this the vehicle (type) will be assessed on its roadworthiness safety, noise and emission.
The car manufacturer must prove that the new model meets the technical requirements of about 60 technical elements in EU member states.
Receiving the approval of the authorities means that car manufacturers can start the sales of their vehicle in the EU market. It confirms that their products meet the technical standards.
Per December 2008 a new category will be added to this technical assessment. Car manufacturers will have to prove, upfront, the environmental performance at the end of the vehicle’s useful life. This evaluation must also be approved prior to the start of the new vehicle sales.
Targeting 95% recoverability
A European legislation has been established with the RRR Directive (Reusability, Recyclability and Recoverability) for the environmental performance of new vehicles. This method requires the manufacturer to evaluate the technical ability to reuse (reusability) recycle (recyclability) and recover the energy embedded in the materials (energetic recoverability). The sum of these 3 elements (recoverability) must reach 95% for new vehicles.
Compliance at every step
When Nissan introduces a new vehicle on the European market, we have to prove to the authorities that our vehicles can achieve a recoverability rate of 95%. Nissan has processes in place in all stages of the conception, development and production of a new vehicle to assure that we will achieve this legal obligation for our vehicles destined for the European market.
Designing for recoverability
Recoverability is divided into two major concepts:
Recyclability – the ability to recycle the components of the vehicle for its material content
Energetic recoverability – the ability to recover elements of a vehicle with the use of the energy embedded in the material (burning of materials while recovering the energy).
During the development stage of Nissan vehicles we take into account compliance with requirements regarding homologation. We calculate and improve the ability to recover the vehicle’s components ( recoverability) by selecting the best material to achieve these targets.
When the cars are conceived our designers work to increase the ability to recycle and recover Nissan cars. By adopting easy-to-recycle materials, using the same materials and structural developments in the vehicle as much as possible, we can meet the legal obligations regarding the recoverability target.
Development of environmentally friendly dismantling methods during conception, marking the vehicle’s recycling plastics, and using unblended materials (mono material) contribute to achieving the recoverability target.
The Qashqai example
For Qashqai, Nissan calculation methods show that we already achieve the 95% recoverability rate through recycling metals, glass, fluids, tyres, fluids and lubricants. Removal and recovery of the seats, bumpers, instrument panels, washer tank, reservoir tank, and other items contribute to Nissan’s assessed recoverability rate of 95%.
Towards more environmental vehicles
Nissan is proactively working to improve its recoverability target in order to reduce the environmental impact of our vehicles at the end of their useful lives. Our objectives are to meet the legal obligation and to offer our customers safe and environmental friendly vehicles.