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Ford, Volvo join Redwood Materials to launch free EV battery recycling program in California – TechCrunch

Redwood Materials, the startup based by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, is launching an electrical car battery recycling program in California with Ford and Volvo as inaugural companions as stress mounts to supply supplies for EVs.

The fundamental plan is that Redwood Materials will work with sellers and dismantlers in California to recuperate end-of-life battery packs in hybrid and electrical automobiles. Straubel stated the program will likely be free for these turning in car batteries. The value of retrieving, correctly packaging after which transporting the batteries again to Redwood’s recycling facility in northern Nevada will likely be shared by the startup together with companions Volvo and Ford. Redwood will settle for all lithium-ion and nickel steel hydride batteries in the state, whatever the make or mannequin of the car.

“It is messy right now and there’s not a great, you know, obvious, clear solution to people,” Straubel stated. “That is a really key part of what we want to change and make it as easy as humanly possible, for everyone in the United States initially, and in the world more broadly to, very simply recycle batteries and make sure those materials are recovered in very high percentage.”

Redwood has launched a portal that scrapyards and sellers can use to arrange the retrieval of the batteries.

The pilot program remains to be at an early stage with some items not clearly outlined.

“I want to emphasize that we are learning in all of this and, you know, it’s a bit of the Wild West,” Straubel stated. “I think that’s maybe partly why some of these things haven’t been more formalized today because it is a bit complex.”

Redwood was launched in 2017 with an purpose to create a round provide chain. The firm recycles scrap from battery cell manufacturing in addition to client electronics like mobile phone batteries, laptop computer computer systems, energy instruments, energy banks, scooters and electrical bicycles. It then processes these discarded items, extracting supplies like cobalt, nickel and lithium which might be sometimes mined, after which provides these again to Panasonic and different prospects, together with Amazon, Ford and AESC Envision in Tennessee.

The purpose is to create a closed-loop system that may in the end assist cut back the price of batteries and offset the necessity for mining.

Electric automobiles on the street at the moment are outfitted with lithium-ion batteries. A battery incorporates two electrodes. There’s an anode (unfavourable) on one facet and a cathode (optimistic) on the opposite. An electrolyte sits in the center and acts because the courier that strikes ions between the electrodes when charging and discharging. The anode is usually fabricated from copper foil coated with graphite.

As automakers ramp up the manufacturing of electrical automobiles — and finally substitute vehicles and vehicles outfitted with inner combustion engines — demand for batteries and the supplies inside them is anticipated to skyrocket. Nearly each main automaker that dedicated to electrifying their car portfolio has additionally locked in partnerships with battery cell producers and different suppliers in an effort to shore up its provide chain.

Earlier this yr, current accomplice Panasonic introduced that battery cells made on the Gigafactory it operates with Tesla will use extra recycled supplies by the top of 2022 as a part of an expanded relationship with Redwood Materials.

Redwood Materials will begin supplying Panasonic with copper foil produced from recycled supplies, a crucial element of the anode facet of a battery cell. Redwood will start producing the copper foil in the primary half of the yr; the copper foil will then head to Panasonic the place it is going to be used in cell manufacturing by the top of the yr.



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