$4 Billion For EV Battery Recycling From Traders and US Govt

Tesla Motors co-founder JB Straubel left that firm in 2019 to pour his power into a comparatively unknown EV battery recycling startup referred to as Redwood Supplies. Tesla went on to dominate the information cycle 12 months after 12 months, whereas the identify of Redwood has been a drop within the media bucket. However, 4 years and $4 billion later, all people is speaking about EV battery recycling and issues are popping over at Redwood.

Traders Pour One other $1 Billion Into EV Battery Recycling

Straubel based Redwood Supplies in 2017 whereas nonetheless at Tesla. The newest information from Redwood is a brand new $1 billion Collection D spherical of fairness funding, introduced earlier this week. Redwood plans to make use of the money infusion to construct up its lithium-ion battery supplies recycling operations within the US. The objective is to offer home EV battery producers with an all-important onshore supplies provide chain to qualify for advantages beneath the 2022 Inflation Discount Act.

EV battery recycling additionally helps to fulfill environmental considerations over the lithium provide chain. Lithium-ion batteries require lithium and different substances that require mining, together with floor mines and open pit mines. The impacts of lithium extraction are additionally amplified by means of massive open-air lagoons.

Regardless of all of the impacts, lithium mining has not been a selected concern within the US for many years. The nation has had only one lithium mine in operation for the reason that Nineteen Sixties. Nevertheless, that’s altering on account of rising electrical car demand and federal insurance policies favoring onshore provides of crucial supplies. A brand new lithium mine is already beneath development in Nevada regardless of an uproar of protest amongst native tribes and different environmental stakeholders. A second mine can also be proposed for North Carolina.

$2 Billion Extra For EV Battery Recycling & Bidenomics

Because the environmental impacts of lithium mining loom into view, auto producers are scrambling for extra sustainable provide chain options. EV battery recycling is there to assist, and it’s been a busy 12 months for Redwood. The Collection D spherical beat an earlier estimate of $700 million by an extended shot. The recent swarm of capital provides $1 billion to a different $1 billion beforehand raised.

In February, the Power Division’s Mortgage Packages Workplace added to the funding pot when it confirmed a $2 billion conditional mortgage dedication for Redwood to construct out its manufacturing campus in McCarran, Nevada. Assuming that Redwood meets the situations of the mortgage, that’s $4 billion all collectively.

The plan is to recycling spent batteries and recuperate scrap supplies from factories to supply copper foil for EV battery anodes and energetic supplies for the cathodes, making McCarren the primary such facility within the US (rather more CleanTechnica protection is right here).

EV Battery Recycling: It’s Difficult

The McCarren facility additionally handles end-of-life batteries from different shopper items, together with cellphones, laptops, and energy instruments, together with different digital waste. Presumably, spent EV batteries will account for an rising proportion of Redwood’s feedstock as extra EV battery packs attain the top of their lifespans.

That has already difficult issues. “Present regulatory frameworks weren’t meant to handle recycling pathways for giant electrical car battery packs,” Redwood explains. The price of transportation can also be a sticking level, together with the price of delivery spent batteries from an out-of-life automotive to a recycling heart.


As for that $2 billion from the Power Division, the Mortgage Packages Workplace was set up by Congress throughout the Bush administration, tasked with stepping in to assist convey new excessive danger, excessive reward energy-related applied sciences to market. Now it’s a cog within the wheel of Bidenomics, the place it has taken up the accountability for guaranteeing that the advantages of its loans ripple out to rank and file staff.

“Redwood Supplies is predicted to create roughly 3,400 good-paying development jobs and make use of roughly 1,600 full-time staff,” the Mortgage Packages Workplace defined in a press launch dated February 9, 2023. “As well as, Redwood Supplies will depend on a development workforce comprised of union, Minority and/or Girl-Owned Enterprise Enterprises.”

“LPO works with all debtors to create good-paying jobs with sturdy labor requirements throughout development, operations, and all through the lifetime of the mortgage and to stick to a robust Group Advantages Plan,” they added.

Will It Make A Distinction?

EV battery recycling can have a major impression on the home battery provide chain, if all goes based on plan. The Power Division expects that supplies from Redwood will help the manufacture of greater than 1 million new electrical autos yearly within the US.

That would account for a big portion of EV manufacturing within the coming years. Complete annual car manufacturing within the US has bounced across the 10 million plus-or-minus mark in recent times. The Power Division anticipates that EVs will take a 35% share by 2030, up from their present share of two%.

“To fulfill elevated demand for lithium-ion batteries, recycling will play an more and more essential function in battery supplies manufacturing,” the Power Division notes. “On common, Redwood can recuperate better than 95% of the crucial battery components in an end-of-life battery (together with lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and copper), after which use these metals to fabricate anode and cathode parts domestically for U.S. battery cell producers.”

No matter Occurred To JB Straubel?

In the meantime, Redwood has already laid plans to construct a second EV battery recycling campus close to Charleston, South Carolina.

“Just like our Nevada operations, Redwood’s South Carolina operations shall be 100% electrical and received’t use any fossil gas in our processes (we won’t even pull a gasoline line to the positioning),” the corporate defined in a press launch final 12 months.

EV battery recycling is sort of a switcheroo for JB Straubel, who joined Tesla Motors in time to introduce the corporate’s first automotive, the Roadster, in 2008. The $100,000 electrical two-seater sported 1000’s of 18650 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries beneath the hood. These are the identical form of batteries utilized in laptops and different digital units, measuring simply 66 millimeters lengthy and 18 millimeters in diameter.

Tesla Motors was included in 2003 because the creation of Martin Eberhard and Marc Tapenning (see full CleanTechnica protection right here). Straubel joined in 2004 as Chief Know-how Officer and stayed till 2019.

“JB Straubel wasn’t simply Tesla’s CTO — he invented the carmaker’s core applied sciences,” ran the headline at CNBC when Straubel left.

“His identify is on a majority of patents that Tesla filed, particularly referring to electrical car batteries — security, structure, monitoring and energy administration,” added CNBC reporter Lora Kolodny.

Now he’s again at Tesla, having been elected to the Board of Administrators at a shareholder assembly final Could.

“Straubel joined Tesla in 2004 and spent 14 years because the chief expertise officer. He has been credited with Tesla’s battery cell design and in addition led the development and idea of Gigafactory Nevada and the manufacturing of Mannequin 3,” notes Reuters.

Maybe Straubel can train a chilled affect over Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s social media habits, however that continues to be to be seen.

Observe me tinamcasey on Bluesky, Threads, Put up, LinkedIn, or Spoutible.

Picture: Proposed EV battery recycling campus close to Charleston, South Carolina (courtesy of Redwood Supplies).


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