Redwood Materials partners with Toyota to recycle batteries in US – TechCrunch

Redwood materialThe lithium-ion battery recycling startup founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, is working with Toyota to collect, refurbish and recycle batteries and battery materials that can be sent to the automaker Japan. coming to North Carolina battery plant.

The partnership will only collect batteries from Toyota’s hybrid and electric vehicles, which come as the first wave of hybrid vehicles for the Toyota Prius, launched more than 20 years ago, retire on the road.

It is also the latest in a series of partnerships between Redwood and OEM, which includes Proterra, Ford, Volvo and Panasonic, the company that is supplying batteries to Tesla’s Nevada factory. With the upcoming electric vehicle takeover, demand for battery materials, especially those produced in the region, is skyrocketing. By partnering with Toyota and other automakers, Redwood hopes to create a circular supply chain for EV batteries in the United States that will ultimately reduce battery costs and offset the need for metal mining. precious.

According to Alexis Georgeson, vice president of communications and government relations at Redwood, Redwood will focus on testing the health of the original Toyota vehicle batteries and assessing the potential for refurbishment to make them operational. and extend the life of existing vehicles. .

In case that’s not an option, Redwood recycles the battery, taking out materials like copper, lithium, cobalt, and nickel. According to Georgeson, the company will remanufacture those materials into anode and cathode copper foil — two key components of batteries that account for about 65 percent of the cost, according to Georgeson — that can be returned to Toyota for cell production. .

Redwood announces plans produce critical battery materials, instead of just recycling them, in Septemberso the work the company is doing with Toyota would be a prime example of that business expansion.

“We are going beyond what a traditional recycler would do, which is just breaking it down into intermediate metals, and we are going further downstream to recycle those metals. into anode and cathode components so we can localize the whole process,” Georgeson told TechCrunch. “If you just recycle, you end up with these intermediate metals and still have to go to the place where the cathode and anode are made, which is mainly in Asia today.”

Redwood’s work with Toyota will take place at its 175-acre Northern Nevada Battery Materials Campus, where the startup also recycles scrap from battery manufacturing and consumer electronics such as cell phones and computers. laptops, power tools, scooters and electric bicycles. The company is also eyeing an east coast expansion to better serve Toyota at its NC plant as well as other partners in the region, said Georgeson.

The company says today it receives more than 6 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of expired batteries annually for recycling. Redwood also announced plans to ramp up production of anode and cathode components at its Nevada plant to 100 GWh per year by 2025, enough to produce more than one million EVs per year, and then raise that to 500 GWh. in 2030.

Mr. Georgeson said Panasonic has pre-ordered the anode copper foil that Redwood aims to start producing this year for Tesla’s gigafactory.

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