Junk cars aren’t just the old, rusty clunkers that you see crowding mechanics’ yards. Some unwanted junk cars have been made in the last decade. Hybrid cars are just starting to appear in cars auto salvage lots. And just as these cars cost more to buy, the scrap prices for such cars can earn you a pretty penny.
Hybrid and electric cars are in high demand, but the manufacturing costs for replacement parts are extremely high. However, in most cases, you don’t have to buy brand new parts. Despite being banged up, some cars have perfectly good engine parts that can be easily refurbished and put to use in another vehicle.
About 12 million cars are recycled every year in the U.S., but few are hybrids. With only about 2 million hybrids and electric cars driven on U.S. roads alone, however, they have not been around long enough to contribute to recycling or reuse programs.
But by 2035, the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium estimates that 1.3 million to 6.7 million worn-out hybrid and electric cars will be up for grabs by recycling and reuse centers.
Mineta says that the individual components of these recycled vehicles won’t be very high, but batteries and engines, which can be reused in other cars or recycled to be used at solar, wind, or other sustainable energy plants, will be more lucrative. The impending antiquating of these hybrids will bring about a new industry in the coming years. The “second life” battery industry is estimated to be worth $3 billion annually by the time it truly takes off in 2035.
Some hybrid cars have already hit the junk lots, including the earliest models of the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. But with only 19,000 Insights and 33,000 Priuses sold through the 2003 model year, there are not enough hybrids to spark a commercial hybrid recycling industry.
This isn’t to say that you can’t trade hybrid cars for cash, though. If you’re the owner of an old hybrid that doesn’t drive anymore, you may be in luck. Cash for cars services are still looking for hybrid and electric car batteries to use for private reuse and recycling. When it’s known that someone needs a hybrid battery, you’ll likely be paid top dollar for your salvaged hybrid battery.