Redwood Materials partners with Ford, Volvo to unveil EV battery recycling program
Founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, Redwood Materials has announced that it is launching an electric vehicle battery recycling program in California with Ford and Volvo as initial partners as pressure mounts to obtain materials for EVs.
The basic plan is that Redwood Materials will work with dealers and dismantlers in California to recover end-of-life battery packs in hybrid and electric vehicles. Straubel said the program will be free for those turning in vehicle batteries. The cost of retrieving, properly packaging, and then transporting the batteries back to Redwood's recycling facility in northern Nevada will be shared by the startup along with partners Volvo and Ford. Redwood will accept all lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries in the state, regardless of the make or model of the vehicle.
"It is messy right now and there's not a great, you know, obvious, clear solution to people," Straubel said."
That is a 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 dealers can use to organize the retrieval of the batteries.
The pilot program is still at an early stage with some pieces not clearly defined.
"I want to emphasize that we are learning in all of this and, you know, it's a bit of the Wild West," Straubel said.
"I think that's maybe partly why some of these things haven't been more formalized today because it is a bit complex."