Redwood Supplies, the lithium-ion battery recycling startup based by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, is partnering with Toyota to gather, refurbish and recycle batteries and battery supplies that may be despatched to the Japanese automaker’s upcoming North Carolina battery plant.
The partnership, which is able to solely acquire batteries from Toyota’s hybrid and electrified autos, comes as the primary wave of Toyota Prius hybrids, which have been launched over 20 years in the past, retire from the roads.
It’s additionally the most recent in a string of partnerships between Redwood and OEMs, together with Proterra, Ford, Volvo and Panasonic, which is supplying batteries to Tesla’s Nevada gigafactory. With the approaching electrical car takeover, demand for battery supplies, significantly ones which are produced regionally, is skyrocketing. By partnering with Toyota and different automakers, Redwood hopes to create a round provide chain for EV batteries in the USA that can finally scale back the price of batteries and offset the necessity for mining valuable metals.
Initially, Redwood will deal with screening the well being of Toyota automobile batteries and assessing the potential for refurbishment to allow them to go into, and prolong the lifetime of, current vehicles when attainable, in accordance with Alexis Georgeson, vice chairman of communications and authorities relations at Redwood.
In circumstances the place that’s not an possibility, Redwood will recycle the batteries, pulling out supplies like copper, lithium, cobalt and nickel. The corporate will then remanufacture these supplies into anode copper foils and cathodes – the 2 predominant elements of a battery that make up about 65% of the associated fee, in accordance with Georgeson – which might be returned to Toyota for cell manufacturing.
Redwood introduced plans to supply crucial battery supplies, reasonably than simply recycle them, in September, so the work the corporate is doing with Toyota will likely be a superb instance of that enterprise growth.
“We’re going properly past what a conventional recycler would do, which is simply breaking it right down to intermediate metals, and we’re going additional downstream to remanufacturing these metals into anode and cathode elements in order that we will localize your entire course of,” Georgeson informed TechCrunch. “Should you’re simply recycling, you’re simply stopping at these intermediate metals that also need to go to the place cathodes and anodes are manufactured, which is at this time predominantly in Asia.”
Redwood’s work with Toyota will happen at its 175-acre Northern Nevada Battery Supplies Campus, the place the startup additionally recycles scrap from battery cell manufacturing and shopper electronics like cell telephones, laptops, energy instruments, scooters and e-bikes. The corporate can also be eyeing east coast growth to raised serve Toyota at its NC manufacturing facility, in addition to different regional companions, Georgeson mentioned.
The corporate says it at this time receives greater than 6 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of end-of-life batteries yearly for recycling. Redwood additionally introduced plans to ramp up manufacturing of anode and cathode elements at its Nevada manufacturing facility to 100 GWh yearly by 2025, which is sufficient to produce a couple of million EVs a 12 months, after which scaling it to 500 GWh by 2030.
Panasonic has already reserved the anode copper foil that Redwood goals to begin producing this 12 months for Tesla’s gigafactory, mentioned Georgeson.