- Redwood Materials, founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, has secured a $2bn loan from the US Department of Energy to build its lithium-ion battery recycling factory in Nevada.
- The loan was granted via the Loan Programs Office (LPO) and will create 3,400 construction jobs and 1,600 full-time jobs.
- The factory will produce 36,000 metric tons of ultra-thin battery-grade copper foil and 100,000 metric tons of cathode active materials annually using new and recycled lithium, nickel, and cobalt.
Redwood Materials has secured a loan of $2 billion from the Department of Energy to build its electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling factory in Nevada. The government agency announced the loan on Thursday through its Loan Programs Office (LPO).
The agency hopes that the factory will support the growing EV market in the United States. “Once fully operational, the project would be the first domestic facility to support the production of anode copper foil and cathode active materials in a fully closed-loop lithium-ion battery manufacturing process by recycling end-of-life batteries and production scrap and remanufacturing that feedstock into critical materials,” it added.
The factory is also expected to create approximately 3,400 construction jobs and 1,600 full-time jobs during and after its completion. As part of the conditions for the loan, Redwood Materials will hire construction workers from unions and Minority and/or Woman-Owned Business Enterprises to complete its factory.
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When the factory is running at full capacity, it has the potential to support the production of one million EVs every year, while reducing reliance on fossil fuels by more than 395 million gallons. For raw materials, the factory will use both new and recycled lithium, nickel, and cobalt to make 36,000 metric tons of ultra-thin battery-grade copper foil and 100,000 metric tons of cathode active materials annually. These products will reduce reliance on Asia for anode and cathode production.
Redwood Materials was founded by former Tesla CTO and co-founder JB Straubel, who acknowledged that the company is in direct competition with Asia to bring back supply and manufacturing operations to the US. The $2 billion loan is short of the $3.5 billion that Straubel said would be needed to complete the factory. Likely, the rest would come from other non-government investors.
With more EVs being made, the demand for batteries keeps growing, and it makes sense for a local manufacturer to fulfill these needs. In fact, it is expected that competitors will soon emerge in the EV battery recycling business, which is a welcome development for the US government.
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