Redwood Materials inks $50M deal with Ford Motor Company

Redwood Materials is located at 2801 Lockheed Way in Carson City.

Redwood Materials is located at 2801 Lockheed Way in Carson City. Photo: Google

Redwood Materials, a recycling technology manufacturing and processing company based in Carson City, this week announced a partnership with Ford Motor Company to create a closed loop for battery recycling and a domestic supply chain for critical battery materials.

The Detroit-area automaker will reportedly invest $50 million into the company founded by former Tesla executive JB Straubel.

“Redwood's existing partnerships span a broad range; from working with battery manufacturers to recycle production scrap to teaming up with automakers to process end of life EVs, and soon, to supplying anode and cathode materials back to the US supply chain,” according to a Sept. 22 statement from the company. “Our relationship with Ford will look at how we can uniquely span the entire battery lifecycle.”

According to a report from the Associated Press, Ford says Redwood can recover 95% of precious metals in EV batteries such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and copper, all of which could run short as the world shifts from internal combustion to electric vehicles.

The automaker says locally produced anode and cathode materials can drive down battery costs, increase materials supply and cut reliance on imported materials, according to the AP.

“It’s been incredible to see the tide change as so many automakers commit to a fully electric future,” according to Redwood’s Sept. 22 statement. “However, we need to plan far ahead for the increased demand of materials that this transition will create. We also must manage supply chain risks carefully around lithium-ion batteries or we risk a repeat of the semiconductor production shortages causing chaos in the world today.

“… While few automakers are thinking far ahead, Ford stands apart in their long-term strategic understanding that these complex issues present an incredible opportunity. Redwood and Ford share an understanding that to truly make electric vehicles sustainable and affordable, we need to localize the existing complex and expensive supply chain network, create pathways for end-of-life vehicles, ramp lithium-ion recycling and increase battery production, all right here in America.”

The $50 million partnership comes a week after Carson City-based Redwood announced plans to produce anode foils and cathode materials domestically, as well as intentions to ramp to 100 GWh of cathode material, enough for 1 million electric vehicles by 2025.

The news also comes less than two months after the company announced a $700 million external investment round.

The investment round comes after the company announced plans in June triple the size of its Carson City facilities to 550,000 square feet; build another site on 100 acres in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Storey County; and create more than 500 additional jobs in the next couple years.


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