Tesla Cofounder Has Another Billion-Dollar Idea

Electric Vehicles / Comments

This could revolutionize battery production in the US.

It's fair to say Tesla has revolutionized the electric car industry. The Model 3 is bringing EVs to the masses, the Model S Plaid is setting new standards for electric car performance, and Tesla is constantly improving its battery technology. But while EVs are helping lower global emissions, there are concerns about emissions generated from battery production.

In response, Tesla recently announced that 100% of its scrapped batteries are recycled and plans to set up internal recycling facilities at its battery production sites. Redwood Materials, a new company set up by Tesla's co-founder and former technology chief J.B. Straubel, also recycles batteries from Nissan and Amazon. Now, Redwood wants to simplify the supply chain for EV batteries by building the required materials at a new plant in the US.

Redwood Materials
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Redwood plans to use critical materials from recycled batteries to produce cathodes and anode foils; essential materials for lithium-ion battery cells. These battery materials will be manufactured at a new site in North America as part of an investment worth over $1 billion, with the location to be announced by early 2022.

Currently, anode and cathode materials are produced primarily in Asia. Producing these essential materials in the US will help ramp up the production of EVs in America as President Biden recently announced an ambitious goal to have EVs make up 50% of US car sales by 2030.

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"Redwood will produce strategic battery materials in the US, first supplying battery cell manufacturing partners with anode copper foil and cathode active materials," CEO and cofounder Straubel wrote in a blog post. "We plan to transform the lithium-ion battery supply chain by offering large-scale sources of these domestic materials produced from as many recycled batteries as available and augmented with sustainably mined material."

By 2025, Redwood aims to produce 100 GWh of cathode active materials and anode foil for one million electric vehicles per year. By 2030, Redwood aims to increase its annual production output of battery materials to 500 GWh, which will be enough to power batteries in five million electric vehicles.

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