Toyota joins battery recycle project

US startup Redwood Materials reportedly said Toyota Motor has become the latest auto industry giant to join its extensive initiative to recycle and remanufacture batteries for electric vehicles.

Redwood Materials partners include Ford and EV battery maker Panasonic, and it is building a closed-loop battery ecosystem focused on lowering EV costs by reducing reliance on imported materials while reducing environmental impact. read more

The five-year-old company has concentrated its initial operations on a 175-acre campus in northern Nevada, and plans to build another complex in the southeastern United States, its president and founder, JB Straubel, told Reuters. in an interview.

The new facility could supply Toyota’s planned $1.3 billion battery plant in North Carolina, as well as Ford’s planned battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky with SK On, a subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Innovation.

Reuters said Redwood Materials ramped up production of anode and cathode components to 100 gigawatt hours by 2025, enough to supply batteries for 1 million EVs per year, and then to 500 GWh by 2030, enough to supply 5 million per year or more. Straubel, a co-founder of Tesla, told the news agency.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the EV maker expects to build up to 20 million EVs per year by 2030, while total global EV production, including Tesla, could hit 40 million, industry forecasters said.

Straubel said Redwood Materials was in “several talks” with Tesla but could not announce any deals yet. Tesla’s partners also include Panasonic.

Toyota has been building hybrid electric vehicles under the Prius name for more than two decades. With an average car life of about 12 years, some early Prius models will reach the end of their useful life.

Once their nickel-metal hydride batteries are out of service, they can be recycled and materials such as nickel and copper reintroduced into the battery supply chain, where they can replenish raw materials from mines.

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