Ford and Redwood Materials team up to build battery recycling and a domestic battery supply chain for electric vehicles (EVs)

Redwood’s recycling technology can recover over 95 percent of the elements including nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper

By
Ian Osborne
September 23, 2021
Category:
EV Biz

Ford Motor Company and Redwood Materials, the company started by Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, have announced they are working together to build battery recycling and a domestic battery supply chain for electric vehicles. Ford has invested $50 million in Redwood to help expand Redwood’s manufacturing footprint.

Ford and Redwood’s goal is to make electric vehicles more sustainable, drive down the cost for batteries and ultimately help make electric vehicles accessible and affordable for more people.

Ford and Redwood are collaborating to integrate battery recycling into Ford’s domestic battery strategy. Redwood’s recycling technology can recover, on average, more than 95 percent of the elements like nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper.

These materials can be reused in a closed-loop with Redwood moving to produce anode copper foil and cathode active materials for future battery production. By using locally produced, recycled battery materials, Ford can drive down costs, increase battery materials supply and reduce its reliance on imports and mining of raw materials.

Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, said: “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.

“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.”

Ford is investing more than $30 billion in electrification through 2025, including the collaboration between Ford and Redwood, which will help deliver on Ford’s plans to localise the battery supply chain in the US.

This builds on Ford’s previously announced plans to scale battery production through multiple BlueOvalSK battery plants in North America starting mid-decade. By building out a domestic, sustainable supply chain with recycled materials, Ford can drive down battery costs and help protect the environment.

Last week, Redwood announced it will produce strategic battery materials, supplying anode copper foil and cathode active materials to US partners. Redwood plans to transform the lithium-ion battery supply chain by offering large-scale sources of these domestic materials to reduce the cost and environmental footprint of electric vehicle production.

The local supply of these two materials is a key part of Ford’s commitment to reduce the environmental impact of battery manufacturing and continue to ramp up electric vehicle production in the US.

Redwood Materials, founded by JB Straubel and based in northern Nevada, is creating a circular supply chain for batteries. They are also helping partners across the electric vehicle and clean energy industries by providing pathways, processes, and technologies to recycle and remanufacture lithium-ion batteries.

JB Straubel, Redwood Materials CEO, said: “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 US manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, decrease cost and, in turn, drive up domestic adoption of electric vehicles.

“Redwood and Ford share an understanding that to truly make electric vehicles sustainable and affordable, we need to localise 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.”

Longer-term, Ford and Redwood plan to work together on the best approach to collect and disassemble end-of-life batteries from Ford’s electric vehicles for recycling and remanufacturing to help reduce the cost associated with battery repairs and raw materials to manufacture all-new batteries.

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