This partnership also has the goal of reducing EV battery prices.
Now that manufacturers are racing to electrify their lineups, they have to take into account the recycling of all those batteries. Currently, battery packs are expected to last between 10 to 20 years. At some point soon, the concept of car recycling will need a complete rethink, especially now that President Biden has announced that he wants 50 percent of all car sales to be electric by 2030.
To date, there hasn't been a lot of discussion around this topic, but to get on top of the issue, plans have to be made as soon as possible. Volkswagen has announced its plans for recycling, while the likes of Amazon and Nissan rely on Redwood Materials.
Redwood Materials was founded by Tesla's co-founder, J.B. Straubel. As we've said before, this could be his second billion-dollar idea. Ford has just announced that it'll be working with Redwood Materials to increase battery recycling and provide a domestic battery supply chain for EVs.
By working together, Ford and Redwood hope to make EVs more friendly to the environment and drive costs down. The most affordable EV on sale locally is the Mini SE, which retails for just under $30,000. EVs still have a long way to go before offering a realistic alternative to sedans and crossovers in the $20,000 to $30,000 price bracket.
"Ford is making electric vehicles more accessible and affordable through products like the all-electric F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit, and much more to come," said Jim Farley, Ford president, and CEO. "Our partnership with Redwood Materials will be critical to our plan to build electric vehicles at scale in America, at the lowest possible cost, and with a zero-waste approach."
Redwood currently has the technology to recover more than 95 percent of the nickel, cobalt, and copper in lithium-ion battery packs. Redwood will then use the reclaimed material in a closed loop to manufacture anode copper foil and cathode active materials, both used in the battery manufacturing industry. Ford would have to rely less on imports and mining by using recycled materials, driving costs down.
"Increasing our nation's production of batteries and their materials through domestic recycling can serve as a key enabler to improve the environmental footprint of U.S. manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, decrease cost and, in turn, drive up domestic adoption of electric vehicles," said Straubel, Redwood Materials CEO. "Redwood and Ford share an understanding that to truly make electric vehicles sustainable and affordable, we need to localize the existing complex and expensive supply chain network, create pathways for end-of-life vehicles, ramp lithium-ion recycling, and increase battery production, all here in America."
This move makes sense, considering Ford's current and upcoming EVs. The Mustang Mach-E has been a smash hit, and reservations for the F-150 Lightning are through the roof.