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

redwood materialsthe lithium-ion battery recycling startup founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, is working with Toyota to collect, prepare and recycle batteries and battery materials that can be sent to the Japanese automaker upcoming battery plant in North Carolina.

The partnership, which will only collect batteries from Toyota’s hybrid and electric vehicles, comes as the first wave of Toyota Prius hybrids, which hit the market over 20 years ago, are pulling off the roads.

It’s also the latest in a series of partnerships between Redwood and OEMs, including Proterra, Ford, Volvo and Panasonic, which supplies batteries for Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. With the impending adoption of electric vehicles, the demand for battery materials, especially those locally produced, is skyrocketing. By partnering with Toyota and other automakers, Redwood hopes to create a circular EV battery supply chain in the United States that will eventually reduce the cost of batteries and offset the need to mine precious metals.

According to Alexis Georgeson, Redwood’s vice president of communications and government relations, Redwood’s initial focus will be to review the health of Toyota car batteries and assess the possibility of overhauling them so that they can be fitted to existing cars and extend their life, if possible.

In cases where this is not possible, Redwood recycles the batteries and pulls out materials such as copper, lithium, cobalt and nickel. The company will then process these materials into anode copper foils and cathodes — the two main components of a battery, which Georgeson says account for about 65% of the cost — which can be returned to Toyota for cell manufacture.

Redwood announced plans to do so produce critical battery materials in September instead of just recycling themso the work the company is doing with Toyota will be a good example of that business expansion.

“We’re going well beyond what a traditional recycler would do, just breaking it down into intermediate metals, and we’re going further downstream to reprocess those metals into anode and cathode components so we can localize the entire process,” Georgeson told Opposite TechCrunch. “If you’re just recycling, you’re just stopping at those intermediate metals that still have to go to where cathodes and anodes are made, which is mostly in Asia today.”

Redwood’s collaboration with Toyota takes place at its 175-acre battery materials campus in northern Nevada, where the startup also recycles scrap from battery cell production and consumer electronics such as cell phones, laptops, power tools, scooters and e-bikes. The company is also looking to expand on the East Coast to better serve Toyota at its NC factory as well as other regional partners, Georgeson said.

The company says it now receives more than 6 gigawatt hours (GWh) of used batteries for recycling each year. Redwood also announced plans to increase production of anode and cathode components at its Nevada facility to 100 GWh annually by 2025, enough to produce more than a million electric vehicles per year, and then to 500 GWh by 2030 scale.

Panasonic has already reserved the anode copper foil that Redwood plans to produce for Tesla’s Gigafactory this year, Georgeson said.

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

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