Redwood Materials intends to gather old battery packs from Ford and Volvo vehicles as part of a new recycling initiative that it will begin in California. JAMES LIPMAN THROUGH FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Redwood Materials, a battery recycler founded by Tesla cofounder and former tech chief JB Straubel, intends to collect used electric and hybrid vehicle packs from Ford and Volvo Cars in California, the top U.S. market for clean vehicles, as it builds a business based on making rechargeable cars and trucks more sustainable by reusing valuable mined materials.
In a first-of-its-kind service, Redwood unveiled a software gateway today allowing California car dealers and dismantlers to detect battery packs nearing their end of life and arrange shipping to recycling facilities in Carson City, Nevada, where the firm is located. There, it will extract rich lithium, cobalt, nickel, and other materials mostly mined overseas and prepare them for reuse in the production of fresh lithium-ion cells in US operations. According to Straubel, this type of closed-loop recycling and reuse is required to assure the sustainability and affordability of electric cars.
“By recycling these batteries we’ll recover the valuable, critical materials inside and keep those materials directly in the supply chain loop,” he said in a video presentation. “This immediately reduces the need for more mining and the import of these same components.”
Redwood aspires to be a major provider of recovered metals and minerals, and it believes that it can currently recover around 6-gigawatt-hours of spent batteries, battery waste, and electronics every year, enough to supply battery packs for 60,000 EVs. Redwood, which is located near Tesla’s enormous Gigafactory and gathers trash from Panasonic, has collected over $800 million to expand its operations as demand for EV batteries–and the pricey materials required to create them–grows. It also intends to establish a $1 billion factory in the United States to produce “precision” battery materials from recycled components, which it would offer to lithium-ion cell manufacturers.
Redwood Materials is trying to extend the collecting and recycling of used batteries as quickly as possible in order to recover important metals and elements that can be utilised to create new ones.